Medical Device Industry Update: Trends in Small Bone Implants

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In order for small to midsized implant manufacturers to produce the best work and remain competitive, they must stay well apprised of industry trends and developments. Doing so helps to ensure they remain on the cutting edge of research, development and production while pivoting away from obsolete processes and approaches. However, with smaller teams and shallower pockets than their multibillion-dollar competitors, the bandwidth to do so can be elusive. Below is a roundup of noteworthy emerging and continuing trends for small bone implants in 2022.

An Impressive Trajectory of Growth

In 2020, the global orthopedic implant market was valued at over $43 billion and, according to a recent report, this figure is projected to increase by approximately 50% by 2028. This steady rate of growth is attributed largely to the increasing aging population – the United States’ Baby Boomer population serving as a prime example. The prevalence and severity of orthopedic trauma among elderly persons over 70, as well as their increased risk of osteoarthritis, decreased bone density and other bone-related complications, correspond to an increased demand for orthopedic implants.

Promising Developments in TAR

While total ankle replacement (TAR) has not achieved an implant survivor rate comparable to total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or total hip arthroplasty (THA), researchers are making impressive strides in improving its efficacy. Namely, this improvement stems from reducing stress at the bearing component and the resected surfaces of the tibia and talus, in turn reducing implant failure. According to a study conducted by Jian Yu et al., this can be achieved using more compliant materials with smaller material stiffness. Specifically, Yu et al. used CFR‑PEEK, PEEK and UHMWPE for bearing components and ceramic, CoCrMo, Ti6Al4V and CFR‑PEEK for tibial and talar components.

Strides in Nanotopology

Since so many biological processes occur at nanoscale and with such a high degree of behavioral alteration, nanotopology is the logical choice for implant manufacturers to achieve true bone cell attachment. However, nanotopology is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor; attaching osteoblasts requires highly specific nanotopology that varies between different cell types. Unfortunately, only a few companies have achieved this mastery of nanotopology. Thus, it is critical that device manufacturers seek out those who have for testing during research and development. This will ensure that their device achieves true attachment without the microscopic gap between bone and device, attendant infections, osteolysis or competing cell attachment.

Intimate Bond™ is a nanotopology solution for small bone PEEK implants—produced under ISO 13485 certification—that promotes true bone cell attachment. It is available exclusively through Implant Surfaces. If you wish to learn how the right nanotopology can increase the accuracy of testing, improve the efficacy of your small bone implant and help it reach the market more quickly and at lower cost, contact us today.


Implant Surfaces provides small to mid-sized nimble spinal and foot-and-ankle medical device companies with superior implant surface cell attachment performance backed by compelling in vitro and in vivo evidence unavailable elsewhere.

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