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9th March 2018, Alpharetta, GA

Solvay’s PEEK enables all-polymer knee implant from Okani

Okani Medical Technology, a China-based pioneer in artificial joint applications, has developed an all-polymer knee implant based on Solvay’s Zeniva polyetheretherketone (PEEK). Okani’s novel ORGKnee implant, which is on display at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) 2018 this week, is said to offer a longer service life at a lower cost than traditional metallic implant systems.

Okani evaluated Zeniva PEEK’s suitability for the femoral and tibial tray components of its knee implant according to ISO 14243-1:2009, which simulates normal walking behaviour over 10 years. The findings, which Okani will present at the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) 2018 Annual Meeting next week, indicate that the ORGKnee implant made of Zeniva PEEK exhibited 50% less wear versus a metal implant as measured by material loss over three million cycles.

Comfort and stable fixation

Okani selected Zeniva PEEK for its ORGKnee implant due, in part, to the material’s success in spinal implant applications. Unlike implants made of cobalt chrome or titanium alloys, those moulded from Zeniva PEEK exhibit a modulus similar to cortical bone, which can improve patient comfort, provide a more stable fixation over time and extend implant lifetime due to significantly reduced wear of the total knee-joint prosthesis.

Okani Medical Technology developed its ORGKnee all-polymer knee implant. ©  Okani Medical Technology

“PEEK’s injection moulding capability makes large-scale production of ORGKnee implants possible in a fraction of the time and cost it takes to make metal implants, which can take up to three months to manufacture, machine and polish using methods that can pose risks both to workers and the environment,” said Zhonglin Zhu, CTO of Okani.

Another motivation that prompted Okani’s decision to work with Solvay was the polymer supplier’s reputation for partnering with highly innovative medical device companies, the company said.

Collaborative approach

“Okani’s implant is not only a perfect showcase for the unique properties of Zeniva PEEK, but also for Solvay’s open innovation business model, which takes a collaborative approach to helping medical device customers foster innovation and optimize their technology,” said Jeff Hrivnak, Global Business Manager for Healthcare at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers Business Unit.

Okani’s ORGKnee implant enters pre-clinical trials this April before undergoing standard clinical trials by China’s Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) in September 2018. The company plans to commercially launch its ORGKnee solution in 2020 after CFDA approvals are complete.

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