Polyetheretherketone as a biomaterial for spinal applications
Threaded lumbar interbody spinal fusion devices (TIBFD) made from titanium have been reported to be 90% effective for single-level lumbar interbody fusion, although radiographic determination of fusion has been intensely debated in the literature. Using blinded radiographic, biomechanic, histologic, and statistical measures, we evaluated a radiolucent polyetheretherketone (PEEK)-threaded interbody fusion device packed with autograft or rhBMP-2 on an absorbable collagen sponge in 13 sheep at 6 months. Radiographic fusion, increased spinal level biomechanical stiffness, and histologic fusion were demonstrated for the PEEK cages filled with autograft or rhBMP-2 on a collagen sponge. No device degradation or wear debris was observed. Only mild chronic inflammation consisting of a few macrophages was observed in peri-implant tissues. Based on these results, the polymeric biomaterial PEEK may be a useful biomaterial for interbody fusion cages due to the polymer's increased radiolucency and decreased stiffness.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 27, Issue 3, January 2006, Pages 324–334