Does this mean you create the accurate fit on the computer and then just print it?
Knebel: That’s right. Due to high melting temperatures, PEEK-based printing is more intricate than printing with other materials. However, the technology is similar to "conventional" filament printing. Still, the processing conditions differ because of the high melting point of about 400 C.
What types of implants can be created with the new filament? Are there any restrictions?
Knebel: A medical device is always subject to multiple factors, which include both the material and the design. Essentially, there is nothing we must explicitly eliminate in this setting. It can be evaluated whenever you want implant adhesion. It all depends on the requirements a material must meet. You must always check on a case-by-case basis whether it is consistent with the material properties, the printing process, and the design.
Does this type of filament provide more advantages than the types you have fabricated in the past and are there already any studies on the subject?
Knebel: We have conducted research that confirms improved adhesion. This is shown by the pullout strength of pins which proves two-fold and an in-vitro study documenting an over 30 percent increased cell attachment.
What feedback have you received pertaining to the new filament?
Knebel: We have presented it to a select group of innovators and received positive feedback. These companies have also conducted their own research and confirmed that the additive indeed affects the surface and improves fusion.
Are you planning on attending COMPAMED 2022?
Knebel: Yes, we will be an exhibitor at COMPAMED.