Alabama Patent of the Month – April 2023
Medical technology has come a long way since the early days of surgery. Today, we have access to tools and techniques that can create custom implants for patients, like those produced by Curiteva Inc. Curiteva has recently patented a system for printing customized medical implants using polymeric materials like polyaryletherketone (PAEK) or more specifically polyether ether ketone (PEEK).
Spinal stenosis is a common condition that affects many people. It occurs when the ligaments and bone that surround the spinal canal thicken and harden, resulting in a narrowing of the spinal canal and compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots. This condition results in pain, numbness, and loss of balance. While there are non-surgical treatments for spinal stenosis, many patients require surgery to alleviate their symptoms.
Curiteva’s printing device can create a customized spinal implant that is porous throughout the entire internal structure, allowing for bone growth to encourage integration of the implant into the body. The implant is produced with a lattice-type structure that allows for interconnected pores extending throughout the entire device.
The device uses multiple heated elements to maintain the printing material at an optimized temperature throughout the printing process, ensuring that each layer of the final printed device is integrally attached to each other layer. The construction of the implant also allows for customizing the implant to have multiple different portions with different porosities.
Curiteva’s 3D printing technology simplifies the process for producing customized spinal implants, reducing the time needed to prepare for surgery while improving patient outcomes.
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