AO Innovation Translation Center - AO TC | June 2023

AO and icotec ag kick off joint development of a new generation pedicle system

The AO Foundation and icotec ag announce the successful agreement and kick off of their joint development of a new generation pedicle system optimized for conditions such as osteoporosis. This innovative system will feature optimized construct stiffness by utilizing icotec's BlackArmor® Carbon/PEEK composite implant material and the design freedom of its proprietary manufacturing process injection moulding CFM. This collaboration marks the second technology partnership between the AO and icotec.

Dr Maarten Spruit, Chair of the AO Technical Commission Spine, expressed his enthusiasm about the cooperation: "The AO is thrilled to collaborate once again with icotec, leveraging their groundbreaking technology based on the unique BlackArmor® material. To date, there is no pedicle system available that fully meets the complex requirements for osteoporotic spine surgery and the varying bone qualities of osteoporotic patients. As a result, the AO and icotec have decided to develop a new pedicle system with a modulus of elasticity closer to that of human bone."

At the heart of this innovation lies icotec's biocompatible BlackArmor® material, which offers a superior treatment option for spinal osteoporosis. Leading spine surgeons from the global AO network are collaborating with icotec's cutting-edge capabilities in Carbon/PEEK composites and material properties to develop this technology. In addition to its enhanced structural characteristics, the new system will minimize artifact due to its translucent nature, providing unimpaired visualization of the area of interest which helps surgeons in diagnosing and follow-up, and patients confidence in getting the optimal treatment, especially in case of spinal tumors. 

Roger Stadler, CEO of icotec, emphasized the significant and lasting impact of this collaboration: "The AO Innovation Translation Center, in particular the AO Technical Commission, serves as the foundation for this development. The extensive expertise of world-renowned spine surgeons inspires us to offer osteoporotic patients an enhanced therapy and the quality of life they deserve." There is big clinical need on the optimized treatment options for osteoporotic patients, which icotec will address with its new project. 

Fig 1 Group photo. Left to right: Sharon Heller, Kurt Zoller, Maarten Spruit, Richard Bransford, Kota WatanabeRamon Hüppi, Christian Mazel, Peter Varga, Lorin Benneker, Laura Hüsken, Nils Diethelm, Naresh Kumar, and Roger Stadler. 

icotec ag is a family-owned SME in Altstaetten, Switzerland established in 1999. icotec designs and manufactures nonmetallic spinal implants made from BlackArmor® (Carbon/PEEK) material. icotec has become the world leader in spine tumor care and is setting new standards for tumor treatments. 

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