Materials supplier Solvay (Alpharetta, GA) announced that medical device company DiFusion Technologies (Austin, TX) chose its Zeniva ZA-500 polyetheretherketone (PEEK) as the base polymer for its ZFUZE osteo-conductive PEEK composite for spinal implants. The compound exhibited large areas of new bone formation on all bone implant surfaces in recent testing by DiFusion, which shared its results at the recent North American Spine Society event in Orlando, FL.
PEEK is an attractive alternative to titanium for spinal implants because it shares similar modulus to bone, and its radio transparency allows for easy visualization in X-rays, said Solvay in a press release. The polymer is also inert, which means it does not interact with human tissue. While this quality supports biocompatibility, it means that PEEK does not naturally lend itself to bone growth. DiFusion solved this problem by compounding negatively charged zeolites into Solvay’s Zeniva PEEK polymer.