Stryker’s 3D-printed Tritanium cages outperformed PEEK cages in terms of bone in-growth and fixation in a pre-clinical study using sheep.

A recently published pre-clinical animal study highlights the expanding role that 3D printing is playing in medicine, particularly in orthopedics.

The study, published in the July issue of The Spine Journal demonstrated that Stryker’s 3D-printed Tritanium cages, used in spinal fusion, exhibited significantly greater bone in-growth and biological fixation capabilities compared to traditional PEEK cages, and plasma-sprayed titanium-coated PEEK cages in sheep.

According to the researchers, the 3D-printed Tritanium cages exhibited significantly greater total bone volume within the graft window at both eight weeks and 16 weeks compared to the PEEK cages. The Tritanium cages also were the only cages that showed a decrease in range of motion and an increase in stiffness across all three loading directions (axial rotation, flexion-extension, and lateral bending) between the eight-week and 16-week time points, Stryker said.

“The results of this study provide an evidence-based approach to decision-making regarding interbody materials for spinal fusion, as there is significant variability in the materials commonly used for interbody cages in spine surgery,” said Sigurd Berven, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco. “The study showed the potential for bone in-growth into and around the Tritanium cages.”

3D printing allows the creation of a material with “precisely randomized” porous structures designed to mimic bone, said Michael Carter, vice president and general manager of Stryker’s spine division.

“This important study reinforces the value of our growing line of Tritanium interbody cages and demonstrates Stryker’s commitment to bringing the latest in advanced technologies to our customers,” Carter said.

By Amanda Pedersen | MD+DI

Image Credit: Amanda Pedersen / MD+DI

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