First Human Implants Of NuNec Cervical Arthroplasty Device Placed

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Pioneer Surgical Technology announced the successful human implantation of its next generation cervical total disc replacement (TDR), NuNec Cervical Arthroplasty Device. The surgeries were performed by Drs. Hansen Yuan, Dewei Zou and Wenwen Wu in Beijing China, on patients with degenerative disc disease (DDD) otherwise indicated for standard fusion surgery.

Dr. Yuan, a designing surgeon team member for NuNec said, "This (NuNec) is truly a one-of-a-kind, next generation cervical TDR. It features a unique cam locking mechanism which provides optimum fixation without keel cutting as well as an HA coating on the outer surfaces of the PEEK plates to facilitate consistent biological fixation." Yuan added, "Unlike many cervical disc devices, the radiolucency of the PEEK material in NuNec causes no artifact in MRI or CT imaging."

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According to Dr. Zou, an orthopedic surgeon and the President of 306 Hospital, "Our patients are fortunate to be able to benefit from this innovative motion preservation technology. I have used several other cervical TDRs in the past and NuNec is, by far, the easiest to implant. These first patients have expressed immediate pain relief after receiving the NuNec device and I am very pleased with these early results."

Pioneer's signature articulating P3 Technology -- Pioneer PEEK-on-PEEK -- is the heart of the NuNec design. Pioneer will showcase its P3 technology products -- NuBac Intradiscal Arthroplasty System, NuNec Cervical Arthroplasty System, and BacJac Interspinous Decompression System -- at the May 2008 Spine Arthroplasty Society (SAS) meeting in Miami, FL.

Pioneer's CEO and President, Dr. Matthew N. Songer says, "We continue to pioneer the P3 application in our motion preservation products. The established biocompatibility, biodurability, radiolucency, and excellent wear resistance of this technology provide surgeons with the most technologically advanced design in the industry which we believe will lead to reduced operating room times and better patient outcomes."

Earlier this year, Pioneer announced significant findings on the effect of accelerated aging on the wear of PEEK (Poly-ether-ether-ketone). The study, conducted in collaboration with RUSH University in Chicago, determined that wear properties of PEEK-on-PEEK are not susceptible to the effects of accelerated aging. The study bolsters support for the long term durability of the company's P3 designs.

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