On May 2, 2018, the Antarctic bear learned from foreign media that the medical company of Medtronic in Dublin recently announced the launch of its new titanium 3D printing platform called TiONIC technology. The system will provide more complex designs and integrated surface technologies for spinal surgical implants. This is the newest member of the 3D printed orthopedic system and is now growing at an alarming rate.
3D printing technology is rapidly changing the way that medical devices are created. The orthopaedic field is undoubtedly one of the biggest beneficiaries of these developments and can produce advanced spinal implants. These interbody fusion devices have a high level of design freedom and can create complex shapes with improved mechanical and material properties.
TiONIC technology is a 3D printing technology that creates an enhanced surface texture by using a differential laser method. The enhanced surface structure has been shown to increase osteoconductivity and promote bone response compared to a smooth surface material. Unlike traditional manufacturing techniques, the 3D printing process allows more sophisticated implant designs.
A good example of this advanced design capability is the honeycomb shape of the recently launched ARTiC-L spine system from Medtronic. The ARTiC-L implant is the first implant to be developed using the new TiONIC technology. It aims to promote sagittal alignment of the spine by providing various lordotic angles of up to 20 degrees.
The ARTiC-L implant is made of titanium and is designed for surgeons to perform transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) spine surgery. The implant's 3D printed honeycomb structure can act as a bone growth scaffold for bone implants, and the structure can also improve the mechanical load distribution of the entire implant.