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Medtronic Is Taking Spinal Implants to the Next Level with 3D Printing

Medtronic plc Medtronic Is Taking Spinal Implants to the Next Level with 3D Printing
The ARTiC-L is the first implant to be manufactured using Medtronic's new titanium 3D printing technique called the TiONIC technology. The 3D-printed honeycomb design acts as an osteoconductive scaffold for bony growth into the implant and provides improved mechanical load distribution across the implant.
Medtronic's new titanium 3D-printed platform enables more complex designs and integrated surface technologies for spine surgery implants.

Medtronic is betting on a new titanium 3D printing technique to create enhanced surface textures for spine surgery implants. The company launched its new TiONIC technology this week during the American Association of Neurological Surgeons meeting in New Orleans, LA.

Compared with smooth materials, surface texture has been shown to increase osteoconductivity and promote bone response, according to the company. The 3D printing process also allows for more intricate implant designs, Medtronic said.

"Surface advancements, like TiONIC technology, have emerged as a paradigm shift in interbody fusion implants," said Colin Buchanan, MD, a neurosurgeon at the Colorado Brain and Spine Institute, in Aurora, CO. "Implants utilizing newer surface technology can help stimulate a cellular response and give me greater confidence that the patient will have a successful fusion."

The company's first implant to be manufactured using the new titanium 3D printing technique is the ARTiC-L, which is designed for surgeons to use in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion spine surgery. Medtronic said the implant's 3D-printed honeycomb design acts as an osteoconductive scaffold for bony growth into the implant and provides improved mechanical load distribution across the implant.

Aside from being manufactured with the TiONIC technology, ARTiC-L is designed to facilitate sagittal alignment of the spine by offering various lordotic angles up to 20 degrees.

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