Exploring the Effect of Pore Size and Distribution on Shear Strength of Surface Porous Polyetheretherkeytone (PEEK)
Wyche, Rebecca Ellen
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Cervical spinal fusion cages are primarily used to stabilize intervertebral space and promote fusion between two vertebrae. Current cervical cages are made of either titanium or polyetheretherketone (PEEK), with PEEK recently becoming the more favorable choice due to its MRI compatibility. While previous research reveals ranges of pore diameters ideal for bone ingrowth, the effect of pore size, porosity, layer thickness and strut thickness on mechanical properties such as shear strength for PEEK, are not known at this time. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of pore size and other parameters on shear strength of surface porous PEEK. Micro-computed tomography (μCT) was used to analyze the porous layers on PEEK and the samples will then undergo shear testing. The data obtained was used to look at trends in parameters and their effect on shear strength in hopes of ultimately optimizing those parameters to promote osseointegration, while maintaining the ability to withstand shear stresses the device will face while implanted in the cervical spinal region of the body.