Doctech.live, a renowned Med-Tech Innovation Report and journalist company, recently conducted an insightful interview with Sriram Sankar, MS Director of Research & Development at DiFUSION Technologies Inc., during the North American Spine Society (NASS) 2023 conference in Los Angeles. This interview shed light on DiFUSION’s groundbreaking ZFUZE technology, a composite polymer with remarkable implications for spine and orthopedic healthcare. In this blog post, we delve into the key takeaways from this informative interview and explore how ZFUZE is revolutionizing the field of medical implants.
The Quest for Ideal Implant Materials
Sriram Sankar opened the interview by addressing a fundamental challenge in the field of orthopedics: finding the perfect implant material. Traditionally, materials like poly ketone (PEEK) and titanium have been used for spinal devices, but both come with their own limitations.
PEEK possesses similar mechanical properties to bone but lacks bone-friendly characteristics, while titanium is bone-friendly but is stiffer than cortical bone and poses imaging challenges. Finding a material that combines the best of both worlds – with the perfect modulus, bone-friendly properties, and imaging benefits – has been a longstanding goal in the field.
DiFUSION Technologies Inc. has tackled this challenge head-on with their revolutionary ZFUZE technology. ZFUZE is a composite polymer derived from PEEK and negatively charged ceramic aluminum silicate molecules. This hydrophilic load-bearing medical polymer facilitates bony ingrowth into the implant while preserving the visualization, modulus, and strength benefits of PEEK.
Positive Immune Response
One of the most remarkable aspects of ZFUZE is its ability to elicit a positive immune response. Dr. Stephen Badylak’s research at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine confirmed that ZFUZE consistently shifts the M1 to M2 macrophage phenotype in a rapid and predictable manner, typically occurring at Day 4-5. This immune response is crucial for normal tissue regeneration and prevents the fibrous encapsulation often seen with other implants.
Quicker Recovery Times
The benefits of ZFUZE extend to patients’ recovery times. Sankar revealed that patients undergoing lumbar fusion or cervical fusion with ZFUZE experience significantly shorter recovery timelines. In traditional cases, it might take 10 months to a year for a patient to fully heal, but with ZFUZE, this period is reduced to about seven or eight months. Even patients with osteopenia or comorbidities have shown improved healing rates with ZFUZE.
As for the future, DiFUSION Technologies Inc. is working on enhancing ZFUZE further. The next generation of this material aims to incorporate therapeutic metal ions such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which are known to support bone growth. This innovation promises to open up new possibilities for various medical applications.
DiFUSION Technologies Inc. was founded in 2009 and has been developing ZFUZE over the past seven to eight years. The company’s headquarters and production facility are located in Austin, Texas. While they currently focus on spinal implants, they are also exploring opportunities in the premium maxillofacial trauma and dental spaces.
The interview with Sriram Sankar of DiFUSION Technologies Inc. at NASS 2023 highlighted the groundbreaking potential of ZFUZE technology in the world of medical implants. By addressing the limitations of traditional materials, ZFUZE offers a unique combination of benefits, including a positive immune response and quicker patient recovery times. With ongoing research and innovations on the horizon, DiFUSION is poised to make a significant impact in the orthopedic and spine healthcare industry, ultimately improving the lives of patients around the world.