Shanghai Reach innovates lighter, more ergonomic spinal surgery kit with Solvay’s KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire PAEK


Solvay, a leading global supplier of specialty polymers has announced at Eurospine 2016 held in Berlin, Germany that its medical grade KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and AvaSpire polyaryletherketone (PAEK) polymers enabled medical device pioneer, Shanghai Reach Medical Instrument Company, to develop a lighter, more ergonomic and highly cost-effective kit of reusable instruments for spinal surgeries.

Xiaomin Huang, General Manager of Shanghai Reach says that Solvay’s broad range of specialty polymers not only offer metal-like performance, but by also enable the fabrication of more complex and integrated parts through cost-effective injection moulding.


Shanghai Reach’s new all-polymer surgical kit, which is available globally, includes six reusable instruments: one rod bender, two pairs of distraction and compression pliers, and three awls. For the rod bender, the medical device-maker specified KetaSpire KT-880 CF 30 PEEK, a 30% carbon fibre-reinforced resin that delivers the high strength and stiffness necessary to bend implantable 5.5-6.0 mm titanium rods. For the pliers and awls, Shanghai Reach chose AvaSpire AV 651 GF 50 PAEK, a 50% glass fibre-reinforced resin offering a cost-effective balance of strength, stiffness and dimensional stability.

Typically, these parts would be made from stainless steel. But Shanghai Reach’s goal was to reduce instrument weight by up to 70% for improved ergonomics, yet not compromise on mechanical properties or sterilisability. In addition to lightweight strength and stiffness, Solvay’s two biocompatible polymers offer strong resistance to fatigue and are compatible with sterilisation methods based on stringent chemicals, steam and even gamma radiation.

“Shanghai Reach’s innovative new kit highlights the ground-breaking value that Solvay’s advanced polymers are injecting into a healthcare market once dominated by metal,” said Jeff Hrivnak, Global Business Development Manager for Healthcare at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers Business Unit. “We expect this trend to continue as we team with industry pioneers like Shanghai Reach to explore new possibilities for replacing metal medical instruments with more cost-effective, ergonomic instruments made from high-performance polymers.”

Solvay Specialty Polymers’s experience as a reliable materials supplier in the healthcare field spans more than 25 years. The company is a leading manufacturer of healthcare plastics, offering a broad range of high-performance, medical-grade plastics for orthopedics, sterilisation cases and trays, medical and dental devices, as well as filtration media and housings for hemodialysis and water purification membranes. Solvay also offers a family of Solviva Biomaterials for use in a range of implantable devices


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