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J Neurotrauma. 2012 Apr 10;29(6):1077-83. doi: 10.1089/neu.2011.1794. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Cranioplasty with customized titanium and PEEK implants in a mechanical stress model.

Author information

1
Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands. bernd.lethaus@mumc.nl

Abstract

Large skull defects as a result of craniectomies due to cerebral insults, trauma, or tumors create functional and aesthetic disturbances for the patient. Cranioplasty with implants in these cases are an alternative to autogenous bone transplantation. In our clinic, customized titanium or optima poly-ether-ether ketone (PEEK) implants are used to reconstruct craniectomy defects. To compare the two materials we investigated the structural changes of the implants fixed to a sintered polyamide skull model under mechanical stress in four simplified models. In a standard testing machine, the models were subjected to a load under a quasi-static loading rate of 1.925 mm/min. Fractures of the PEEK implants occurred at a force of 24.2 and 24.5 kN with a displacement of 8.4 and 8 mm. The titanium implants showed no deformation, but extensive damage was seen in the polyamide skull models. The highest pressures achieved were 45.8 and 50.9 kN. In a simplified model with quasi-static loading, both implants withstood forces that were higher than those capable of causing skull fractures. It seems that the mechanical properties of PEEK could provide better protection when used for cranioplasty in patients after craniectomy if reconstruction with autogenous bone is not possible.

PMID:
22017579
DOI:
10.1089/neu.2011.1794
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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