Silicon nitride offers the mechanical strength, chemical stability, and biocompatibility needed to manufacture spinal implants. To promote research, and to train future scientists, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and Innovation Program funded a four year (2019-2022) grant targeted specifically at developing spinal implants. Led by Professor Cecilia Persson at Uppsala University, the consortium has three university participants (Uppsala University, ETH Zürich, and University of Leeds); several industrial partners (IHI Ionbond AG, CeramTec GmbH, Key Engineering Solutions, SINTX Technologies, and OssDsign AB) and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as clinical collaborators. In addition to the focus on spinal implants, the program aims to deliver 15 Ph.D. scientists through a comprehensive, multi-center research and training effort.
Persson, who is also a board member of the Scandinavian Society of Biomaterials, stated, “The inclusion of SINTX Technologies in this project is considered to be of very high value to the consortium, in view of their many years of experience in silicon nitride-based materials for use in biomedical applications. We have also worked with these materials for some time and find them particularly promising in certain spinal applications.”
“This consortium is another validation of our deep bench of published research in silicon nitride. It is gratifying to see others recognize the value of silicon nitride as a biomaterial,” said Dr. Sonny Bal, president and CEO at SINTX Technologies. “We are honored to be an industrial partner of the European consortium, an academic and industrial collaboration that will boost our R&D, cross-fertilize our intellectual resources, expand the field, and help train future professionals. In addition to the consortium, recent papers from the Texas A&M School of Dentistry, and the University of Rochester have corroborated our earlier data regarding silicon nitride. In 2018, Australian investigators reported successful outcomes with an earlier composition of silicon nitride; their data is the longest known follow-up of any spine biomaterial. In 2019, another scientific report from China confirmed our previously-reported osteogenic and antibacterial properties of silicon nitride. These independent sources validate and add credibility to our work; we welcome the added, outside interest in silicon nitride that will create new commercial opportunities for SINTX in spine and beyond.”
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 812765.
SINTX Technologies is an OEM ceramics company that develops and commercializes silicon nitride for biomedical applications, such as spine and dental implants. The core strength of SINTX Technologies is the research and development of medical-grade silicon nitride ceramics for external partners. The company presently manufactures silicon nitride spinal implants in its ISO 13485-certified manufacturing facility for CTL-Amedica, the exclusive retail channel for silicon nitride spinal implants.