Genes, Designer Proteins & Biomaterials:
The Role of Biotechnology in Spinal Surgery
Textured Titanium and Polymers for
Lumbar Disk Replacement
A variety of new types of disk replacement technologies are being developed. A) Cast poly-lactic acid (PLA) implant will dissolve away as bone grows into the fusion site (Journal of Neurosurgery 98(S) 195-201 – DW Cahill). Dr. Charles Ray of Raymedica has introduced a prosthetic disk nucleus (PDN) which restores the natural elasticity of the nucleus pulposus, but keeps the ligaments intact and preserves normal motion. A variety of titanium and plastic artificial disk replacement devices have also been developed including C) Medtronic Maverick, D) Spine Solutions ProDisc, and E) Link SB Charité Artificial Disk (Neurosurgical Focus 13(2) A10 VC Traynelis. None of these has been approved yet by the FDA for use in patients in 2004 in the United States although clinical studies are well advanced.