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Surgeons Preferred HD LifeSciences™ Hive™ Based on Radiographic Visualization

In the last few years, companies have been launching new and improved interbody fusion devices produced with advanced manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing. Commercially available devices are marketed “to actively participate in the fusion process”, to “create a favorable environment for cell attachment and proliferation,” and be an “active participant in the fusion process.” These devices frequently use titanium or titanium alloys to provide cell-friendly environments. Historically, the use of titanium for interbody use had its drawbacks and calls into question the benefits of the new devices.

MedTech Strategies conducted a survey to find out if titanium based interbody fusion devices produced with modern 3D printed technology could offer the radiographic visualization surgeons demand. A short online survey was conducted with 24 US-based orthopedic surgeons to examine their input on this question. Surgeons were asked to choose their preferred commercially available 3D printed devices, based on visualization, in the following radiographic images. See Figure 1.

The devices provided were:

Stryker Tritanium®


HD LifeSciences™ Hive™

4Web Truss System™

Figure 1: Radiographic images from tested devices

Interestingly, the most preferred device was HD LifeSciences Hive®. 58% of surgeons indicated that it was the most preferred device presented and 87% ranked it as first or second choice. Of the four devices presented, the Hive device was the only one of the four never ranked last by any surgeon. See Figure 2.

Figure 2: Rank of Preferred Devices Based on Visualization

Respondents indicated that of the four options, the HD device had the best visualization overall and was the “easiest to see through.” When asked to provide the material or brand/manufacturer of the HD LifeSciences device, one respondent indicated that it looked like a device made from PEEK which further demonstrates the radiolucent qualities of the Hive structure. Other reasons for choosing the HD LifeSciences device included visualization of bony healing, assumed best evaluation of a solid interbody fusion by CT scan and most open space within the implant. The second most preferred device was the Titan ENDOSKELETON with the 4Web Truss System and the Stryker Tritanium to follow. A high of 79% of respondents placed the Tritanium device as the least preferred device.

As with all new interbody fusion device technology, understanding the drivers for choice and importance of aspects like visualization are important. Companies like HD LifeSciences have found a way to incorporate the benefits of improved manufacturing of titanium with the preferred visualization surgeons are demanding.


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