Startups to Drive Polymer Innovation in the New Decade

happe spine bonezone

Medical devices for the spine were primarily made of titanium until the advent of PEEK (polyetheretherketone, a thermoplastic polymer) in the late 1990s. Research shows that PEEK can provide more porosity for bony ingrowth, but isn’t as easily accepted by the body as was titanium. With 3D printing, device companies have the opportunity to make titanium porous, and the pendulum is starting to swing in the market again. Still, some companies continue to innovate in PEEK.

“When looking at the foundation of bony fusion, there are three criteria that need to be met. The medical device must be biomechanically stable, porous and bioaccepting,” said Doug Snell, Engineering and Program Director for HAPPE Spine. “Most devices in the market only meet one or two of those criteria.”

HAPPE’s dual density HA porous PEEK technology aims to meet all three.