For many years now, composites are investigated for application in prosthetic and orthopaedics devices. Gradually they become a an alternative to titanium alloys in the development of implantable load-bearing medical devices that require extra strength and biocompatibility.
Many advantages can be obtained from replacing metal with composite materials.
The benefits are an excellent fatigue resistance and an artefact free imaging procedure (CT and MRI) for accurate and reliable post-operative monitoring. Problems with imaging often relate to difficulties interpreting radiographs taken through casts or fixation devices because the image quality is degraded as a result of absorption or scattering of X-rays.
Carbon fibre-reinforced PEEK polymer is one of the most radiolucent of the composite materials. It has a very high compression strength durability and its stiffness closely matches that of cortical bone, which is very important to prevent bone resorption.
Radiolucence is one of the unique properties of composites. Metals block x-rays imaging while composite materials do not. This means composite fixators can remain in place for imaging and allows fractures to be imaged from any desired angle for superior diagnostic accuracy.
Composite materials also offer superior rigidity and reduced weight, especially when using carbon fiber.
TS Quality & Engineering can help and support in the development of new devices made of composite material from design and engineering to regulatory and validation.
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