EDINA, Minn. & LYON, France–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tornier, Inc., a global leader in extremities orthopaedics, announced today the first human implant of a shoulder arthroplasty prosthesis based on the company’s proprietary pyrocarbon technology. The surgery was performed by leading orthopaedic surgeons in Lyon, France for a patient with humeral head pathology related to trauma. Designed to meet the unique soft tissue biocompatibility requirements of the shoulder joint, the prosthesis utilized in this procedure was developed and manufactured by Tornier’s dedicated Pyrocarbon Center of Excellence based in Grenoble, France. The implant is not yet commercially available.
Doug Kohrs, President and CEO of Tornier, commented, “We are very excited about our first human implant of a pyrocarbon shoulder arthroplasty prosthesis. This procedure evidences both our progress in applying pyrocarbon technology to the specific needs of patients with shoulder problems, and also Tornier’s corporate commitment to utilizing advanced biomaterials to solve the unmet clinical needs of orthopaedic surgeons and their patients.”
Tornier’s commitment to pyrocarbon technology is based on the material’s unique biomechanical profile of wear resistance and biocompatibility when compared to metals such as titanium and cobalt chrome. Pyrocarbon, or pyrolytic carbon, is a unique, ceramic-like material with an excellent track record for durability and biocompatibility. Pyrocarbon’s wear resistance is based on its extremely hard surface. The material’s soft tissue biocompatibility reflects its very low coefficient of friction and modulus of elasticity that is very similar to bone. Utilizing custom made Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) chambers for the high temperature carbon coating of graphite substrates, the technology required to manufacture pyrocarbon medical devices is challenging and proprietary. Tornier believes that it is the only fully integrated designer, developer and manufacturer of pyrocarbon orthopaedic devices.