The Food and Drug Administration has granted approval for the 3-D printing of two spine implants. The first is the SpineFab VBR Implant from Oxford Performance Materials, Inc. The other device is the EndoLIF On-Cage implant from German manufacturer Joimax. What is unique about the approval of these two spine implants is the way in which both devices will be produced–on high-tech 3-D printers, a process that cuts down on manufacturing costs without sacrificing the overall quality of the product that’s produced.
Oxford Performance Materials’ SpineFab VBR Implant system is a load-bearing polymer device designed for long-term implantation in individuals with collapsed, damaged, or unstable parts of their spine due to injury, disease (including tumors) or trauma. The device, which would be implanted in the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine, will be available in 48 sizes, making it highly adaptable to various patient needs.
The OPM implants will be produced through a 3-D printing process specific to the production of orthopedic and neurological implants that includes a unique powder formulation designed to ensure implants are as durable as anything manufactured with traditional methods. The result will be a “bone-like” material designed to stand up to normal back movements throughout the lifespan of the implant.
The EndoLIF On-Cage implant is a 3-D-printed titanium implant designed for use in minimally invasive spinal surgeries. It’s designed with a porous surface to promote bone growth and cell proliferation (an increase in the number of cells in the spine necessary to encourage bone growth around the implant). The implant, also designed to minimize scar tissue, has already been used on more than 200 spine procedures in Europe.
The ability to get very specific with how the product is made is good news for spine surgeons and patients since the technology used to create both implants will make it easier to fine-tune the design to patient specifications. If these two 3-D-printed implants prove to be cost-effective methods of producing spine devices, it’s safe to assume that spine technology could be entering a new and exciting phase.
For more information about the latest technology and cutting-edge spine treatments, contact our Beverly Hills spine surgery center at (310) 828-7757 and request an in-person consultation.