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Evonik Seeks to Extend the Service Life of Joint Prostheses with PEEK Biomaterials

        Evonik/KYON hip implant
           KYON Hip Prosthesis

Evonik is exploring the possibilities of using VESTAKEEP® PEEK polymer for complex joint prosthesis systems. The company is drawing on the expertise of medical specialists at the Center for Knee and Hip Replacement at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. If the innovation succeeds, the service life of VESTAKEEP-based joint prostheses could be significantly extended, consequently reducing revision surgery or years of therapy.

The success of PEEK-based hip prostheses in veterinary medicine from the Swiss company KYON supported Evonik's innovation approach.

Evonik's PEEK biomaterial has been used successfully in the latest generation of hip prosthesis systems for pets, such as dogs and cats, from KYON. At the heart of the innovative technology is a friction partner made of Evonik's VESTAKEEP PEEK biomaterial with an additional carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK ring between the ceramic head and the cup. Unpublished data indicate that linear wear is reduced by a factor of 7 with ceramic on PEEK compared to conventional pairings.

Evonik is pursuing the approach of analyzing the weak points of the joint prosthesis systems already established on the market in human medicine and developing a solution with its high-performance PEEK polymer.

"We are looking into the use of VESTAKEEP® in human joint prostheses to improve the quality of life for patients," said Marc Knebel, head of the Medical Systems market segment at Evonik. "For example, we have learned to understand PEEK as a material component in complex joint prosthesis systems that can be integrated into existing technologies according to the modular principle.“