Effect of porous orthopaedic implant material and structure on load sharing with simulated bone ingrowth

A finite element analysis comparing titanium and PEEK

R. Dana Carpenter, Brett S. Klosterhoff, F. Brennan Torstrick, Kevin Foley, J. Kenneth Burkus, Christopher S.D. Lee, Ken Gall, Robert E. Guldberg, David L. Safranski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Osseointegration of load-bearing orthopaedic implants, including interbody fusion devices, is critical to long-term biomechanical functionality. Mechanical loads are a key regulator of bone tissue remodeling and maintenance, and stress-shielding due to metal orthopaedic implants being much stiffer than bone has been implicated in clinical observations of long-term bone loss in tissue adjacent to implants. Porous features that accommodate bone ingrowth have improved implant fixation in the short term, but long-term retrieval studies have sometimes demonstrated limited, superficial ingrowth into the pore layer of metal implants and aseptic loosening remains a problem for a subset of patients. Polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) is a widely used orthopaedic material with an elastic modulus more similar to bone than metals, and a manufacturing process to form porous PEEK was recently developed to allow bone ingrowth while preserving strength for load-bearing applications. To investigate the biomechanical implications of porous PEEK compared to porous metals, we analyzed finite element (FE) models of the pore structure-bone interface using two clinically available implants with high (> 60%) porosity, one being constructed from PEEK and the other from electron beam 3D-printed titanium (Ti). The objective of this study was to investigate how porous PEEK and porous Ti mechanical properties affect load sharing with bone within the porous architectures over time. Porous PEEK substantially increased the load share transferred to ingrown bone compared to porous Ti under compression (i.e. at 4 weeks: PEEK = 66%; Ti = 13%), tension (PEEK = 71%; Ti = 12%), and shear (PEEK = 68%; Ti = 9%) at all time points of simulated bone ingrowth. Applying PEEK mechanical properties to the Ti implant geometry and vice versa demonstrated that the observed increases in load sharing with PEEK were primarily due to differences in intrinsic elastic modulus and not pore architecture (i.e. 4 weeks, compression: PEEK material/Ti geometry = 53%; Ti material/PEEK geometry = 12%). Additionally, local tissue energy effective strains on bone tissue adjacent to the implant under spinal load magnitudes were over two-fold higher with porous PEEK than porous Ti (i.e. 4 weeks, compression: PEEK = 784 ± 351 microstrain; Ti = 180 ± 300 microstrain; and 12 weeks, compression: PEEK = 298 ± 88 microstrain; Ti = 121 ± 49 microstrain). The higher local strains on bone tissue in the PEEK pore structure were below previously established thresholds for bone damage but in the range necessary for physiological bone maintenance and adaptation. Placing these strain magnitudes in the context of literature on bone adaptation to mechanical loads, this study suggests that porous PEEK structures may provide a more favorable mechanical environment for bone formation and maintenance under spinal load magnitudes than currently available porous 3D-printed Ti, regardless of the level of bone ingrowth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Volume80
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Fingerprint

Polyether ether ketones
Orthopedics
Titanium
Bone
Finite element method
Tissue
Bearings (structural)
Metals
Pore structure
Geometry
Elastic moduli
Mechanical properties

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials

Cite this

Effect of porous orthopaedic implant material and structure on load sharing with simulated bone ingrowth : A finite element analysis comparing titanium and PEEK. / Carpenter, R. Dana; Klosterhoff, Brett S.; Torstrick, F. Brennan; Foley, Kevin; Burkus, J. Kenneth; Lee, Christopher S.D.; Gall, Ken; Guldberg, Robert E.; Safranski, David L.

In: Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Vol. 80, 01.04.2018, p. 68-76.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Carpenter, R. Dana ; Klosterhoff, Brett S. ; Torstrick, F. Brennan ; Foley, Kevin ; Burkus, J. Kenneth ; Lee, Christopher S.D. ; Gall, Ken ; Guldberg, Robert E. ; Safranski, David L. / Effect of porous orthopaedic implant material and structure on load sharing with simulated bone ingrowth : A finite element analysis comparing titanium and PEEK. In: Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. 2018 ; Vol. 80. pp. 68-76.
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abstract = "Osseointegration of load-bearing orthopaedic implants, including interbody fusion devices, is critical to long-term biomechanical functionality. Mechanical loads are a key regulator of bone tissue remodeling and maintenance, and stress-shielding due to metal orthopaedic implants being much stiffer than bone has been implicated in clinical observations of long-term bone loss in tissue adjacent to implants. Porous features that accommodate bone ingrowth have improved implant fixation in the short term, but long-term retrieval studies have sometimes demonstrated limited, superficial ingrowth into the pore layer of metal implants and aseptic loosening remains a problem for a subset of patients. Polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) is a widely used orthopaedic material with an elastic modulus more similar to bone than metals, and a manufacturing process to form porous PEEK was recently developed to allow bone ingrowth while preserving strength for load-bearing applications. To investigate the biomechanical implications of porous PEEK compared to porous metals, we analyzed finite element (FE) models of the pore structure-bone interface using two clinically available implants with high (> 60{\%}) porosity, one being constructed from PEEK and the other from electron beam 3D-printed titanium (Ti). The objective of this study was to investigate how porous PEEK and porous Ti mechanical properties affect load sharing with bone within the porous architectures over time. Porous PEEK substantially increased the load share transferred to ingrown bone compared to porous Ti under compression (i.e. at 4 weeks: PEEK = 66{\%}; Ti = 13{\%}), tension (PEEK = 71{\%}; Ti = 12{\%}), and shear (PEEK = 68{\%}; Ti = 9{\%}) at all time points of simulated bone ingrowth. Applying PEEK mechanical properties to the Ti implant geometry and vice versa demonstrated that the observed increases in load sharing with PEEK were primarily due to differences in intrinsic elastic modulus and not pore architecture (i.e. 4 weeks, compression: PEEK material/Ti geometry = 53{\%}; Ti material/PEEK geometry = 12{\%}). Additionally, local tissue energy effective strains on bone tissue adjacent to the implant under spinal load magnitudes were over two-fold higher with porous PEEK than porous Ti (i.e. 4 weeks, compression: PEEK = 784 ± 351 microstrain; Ti = 180 ± 300 microstrain; and 12 weeks, compression: PEEK = 298 ± 88 microstrain; Ti = 121 ± 49 microstrain). The higher local strains on bone tissue in the PEEK pore structure were below previously established thresholds for bone damage but in the range necessary for physiological bone maintenance and adaptation. Placing these strain magnitudes in the context of literature on bone adaptation to mechanical loads, this study suggests that porous PEEK structures may provide a more favorable mechanical environment for bone formation and maintenance under spinal load magnitudes than currently available porous 3D-printed Ti, regardless of the level of bone ingrowth.",
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T2 - A finite element analysis comparing titanium and PEEK

AU - Carpenter, R. Dana

AU - Klosterhoff, Brett S.

AU - Torstrick, F. Brennan

AU - Foley, Kevin

AU - Burkus, J. Kenneth

AU - Lee, Christopher S.D.

AU - Gall, Ken

AU - Guldberg, Robert E.

AU - Safranski, David L.

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N2 - Osseointegration of load-bearing orthopaedic implants, including interbody fusion devices, is critical to long-term biomechanical functionality. Mechanical loads are a key regulator of bone tissue remodeling and maintenance, and stress-shielding due to metal orthopaedic implants being much stiffer than bone has been implicated in clinical observations of long-term bone loss in tissue adjacent to implants. Porous features that accommodate bone ingrowth have improved implant fixation in the short term, but long-term retrieval studies have sometimes demonstrated limited, superficial ingrowth into the pore layer of metal implants and aseptic loosening remains a problem for a subset of patients. Polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) is a widely used orthopaedic material with an elastic modulus more similar to bone than metals, and a manufacturing process to form porous PEEK was recently developed to allow bone ingrowth while preserving strength for load-bearing applications. To investigate the biomechanical implications of porous PEEK compared to porous metals, we analyzed finite element (FE) models of the pore structure-bone interface using two clinically available implants with high (> 60%) porosity, one being constructed from PEEK and the other from electron beam 3D-printed titanium (Ti). The objective of this study was to investigate how porous PEEK and porous Ti mechanical properties affect load sharing with bone within the porous architectures over time. Porous PEEK substantially increased the load share transferred to ingrown bone compared to porous Ti under compression (i.e. at 4 weeks: PEEK = 66%; Ti = 13%), tension (PEEK = 71%; Ti = 12%), and shear (PEEK = 68%; Ti = 9%) at all time points of simulated bone ingrowth. Applying PEEK mechanical properties to the Ti implant geometry and vice versa demonstrated that the observed increases in load sharing with PEEK were primarily due to differences in intrinsic elastic modulus and not pore architecture (i.e. 4 weeks, compression: PEEK material/Ti geometry = 53%; Ti material/PEEK geometry = 12%). Additionally, local tissue energy effective strains on bone tissue adjacent to the implant under spinal load magnitudes were over two-fold higher with porous PEEK than porous Ti (i.e. 4 weeks, compression: PEEK = 784 ± 351 microstrain; Ti = 180 ± 300 microstrain; and 12 weeks, compression: PEEK = 298 ± 88 microstrain; Ti = 121 ± 49 microstrain). The higher local strains on bone tissue in the PEEK pore structure were below previously established thresholds for bone damage but in the range necessary for physiological bone maintenance and adaptation. Placing these strain magnitudes in the context of literature on bone adaptation to mechanical loads, this study suggests that porous PEEK structures may provide a more favorable mechanical environment for bone formation and maintenance under spinal load magnitudes than currently available porous 3D-printed Ti, regardless of the level of bone ingrowth.

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