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Thornton-Cleveleys, United Kingdom

Feerick E.M.,National University of Ireland | Wilson J.,Technology Center Hillhouse International | Jarman-Smith M.,Technology Center Hillhouse International | O'Bradaigh C.M.,National University of Ireland | McGarry J.P.,National University of Ireland
Journal of Biomaterials Applications

An experimental and computational investigation of the self-tapping ability of carbon fibre reinforced polyetheretherketone (CFR-PEEK) has been conducted. Six CFR-PEEK suture anchor designs were investigated using PEEK-OPTIMA® Reinforced, a medical grade of CFR-PEEK. Experimental tests were conducted to investigate the maximum axial force and torque required for self-taping insertion of each anchor design. Additional experimental tests were conducted for some anchor designs using pilot holes. Computational simulations were conducted to determine the maximum stress in each anchor design at various stages of insertion. Simulations also were performed to investigate the effect of wall thickness in the anchor head. The maximum axial force required to insert a self-tapping CFR-PEEK suture anchor did not exceed 150-N for any anchor design. The maximum torque required to insert a self-tapping CFR-PEEK suture anchor did not exceed 0.8-Nm. Computational simulations reveal significant stress concentrations in the region of the anchor tip, demonstrating that a re-design of the tip geometry should be performed to avoid fracture during self-tapping, as observed in the experimental component of this study. This study demonstrates the ability of PEEK-OPTIMA Reinforced suture anchors to self-tap polyurethane foam bone analogue. This provides motivation to further investigate the self-tapping ability of CFR-PEEK suture anchors in animal/cadaveric bone. An optimised design for CFR-PEEK suture anchors offers the advantages of radiolucency, and mechanical properties similar to bone with the ability to self-tap. This may have positive implications for reducing surgery times and the associated costs with the procedure. © The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav. Source

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