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Carbon Fiber Implants Beneficial for Oncological Patients

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 15 Oct 2018
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Image: An MRI of titanium pedicle screws (L) and CarboClear pedicle screws (R) (Photo courtesy of CarboFix).
Image: An MRI of titanium pedicle screws (L) and CarboClear pedicle screws (R) (Photo courtesy of CarboFix).
A novel carbon fiber pedicle screw system restores the integrity of the spinal column in patients with advanced-stage cancer in whom life expectancy is too short to permit fusion.

The CarboFix Orthopedics (CarboFix; Herzliya, Israel) CarboClear Pedicle Screw System is intended to restore the integrity of the thoracic and lumbar spine--even in the absence of fusion--for a limited period in patients with advanced tumors. The implant system consists of pedicle screws, rods, intramedullary nails, plates, and locking elements in various dimensions, used to build a spinal construct; and of a set of instruments, intended to assist in the insertion and placement of the implants. The threaded portion of the pedicle screws is encased within a thin titanium shell.

The system elements are made of carbon fiber-reinforced polyetheretherketone (CFR-PEEK), consisting of continuous carbon fibers layered in a unidirectional, longitudinal orientation, as well as in a helical and diagonal orientation, which adhere together. The composite material makes the CarboFix implants radiolucent, which is beneficial during surgery and follow up on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) scans with minimal artifacts. The material also enables radiation therapy (RT) with no backscatters.

“These unique implants provide enhanced imaging follow-up and radiation treatment. These implants are a game changer for spinal oncology cases,” said Ron Szekely, director of VP sales and marketing at CarboFix. “This is another major breakthrough for CarboFix in its endeavor to bring the next revolution, using carbon fibers as the material of choice in orthopedic implants. We will continue to broaden our portfolio for the spine as we did with our full range trauma line.”

Carbon fiber implants provide unique advantages to the oncological patients, including enhanced RT planning capabilities, allowing dose optimization with minimal collateral tissue damage and enhanced follow up abilities due to artifacts-free MRI and CT. In addition, unparalleled fatigue strength supports the impaired healing process in such patients, as well as compatibility with particle radiation (proton and carbon ion) and other stereotactic radio-surgery modalities.

Related Links:
CarboFix Orthopedics

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