Porous and Bioactive Polyaryletherketone Implants for Interbody Spinal Fusion
Ryan K. Roeder is the head of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering Graduate Program at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. Mr. Roeder is a young man who brought a lot to the table about the topic of Implants for Interbody Spinal Fusion. Ryan Roeder has been a part of the faculty at the University of Notre Dame since 2001 and has taught courses there on bio materials, failure fo materials, mechanical behavior of materials, manufacturing processes for materials and solid mechanics. Ryan Roeder's primary research is broadly centered on processing, structure, and property relationships in synthetic bio materials and biological tissues.
This talk however was pointed most directly at spinal fusion. The challenges of spinal fusion is being able to create a material that is "soft" like bone but that is rigid enough to withstand stress. Also, other major challenges are creating a material that that body is willing to accept also. If the structure is too strong then the bone around the implant will gradually deteriorate and wither away. This creates even more trouble for a person. So Mr. Roeder created an idea that he feels will work best. He is using PEEK which is a Poly Ether Ether Ketone chain. This material is strong but also "soft" and is very similar to bone. The PEEK is not what the body or bone looks for to be the material that it attaches to. The material is found within the PEEK solid material. They created a stem system that is found within the PEEK that gives the bone something to connect to. This obviously takes time to happen in the body but once it does the spinal column will be strong once again. These implants do tend to limit the motion of an individual but when a person is looking at no movement compared to limited movement almost anybody will choose the limited movement over having no movement and these implants are allowing people a last chance resort to fix severe back issues.
Mr. Roeder spoke excellently and answered all the questions with ease. He knew his materials and was very prepared. He was extremely easy to understand and to follow. His abilities to time manage in order to fit everything in within the time constraints was a major plus and I would rate his performance as a 9.5 out of 10. Great enthusiasm and he seemed to be a really great guy. He evened stayed after the lecture to answer more questions from the students. Excellent speaker and excellent topic.