Kyocera Industrial Ceramics Corp., Orthopedic Division, today unveiled its new Orthopedic Design Center in Somerset, N.J., formed in collaboration with Japan Medical Materials Corporation (JMM) – a Kyocera Group company.
JMM was established in 2004 as a collaborative venture between the medical material divisions of Kyocera Corporation and Kobe Steel. Since 2008, Kyocera has served as the official North American sales arm for JMM, offering medical implant components used in total hip and total knee joint-replacement systems.
The focus of the JMM Design Center will be to expand Kyocera’s relationships and partnerships in support of JMM’s implant and medical device business. The facility offers the extensive medical field experience and time-proven materials technologies of both companies.
“Kyocera and JMM offer material design expertise and specialized components to meet the stringent specifications and regulations governing medical devices,” stated Kyocera’s Ken Kaneko, JMM design center manager. “Our specialties include titanium, vanadium-free titanium alloy, and ceramics, such as alumina, zirconia, and next-generation ceramics, zirconia-toughened alumina.”
Ceramic-based orthopedic implants are growing in demand due to rising awareness of the excellent wear-resistant properties of ceramic materials. Ceramic heads are expected to mate more smoothly with the polyethylene cup in hip and knee replacements, helping to prevent “wear debris.” Additionally, unlike metal implantable materials, ceramics are bio-inert and therefore less likely to create post-implantation allergic reactions.
Kyocera currently supplies JMM’s ceramic components to U.S. producers of artificial hip and knee joint replacement systems. The company is working to diversify through synergistic partnerships to offer JMM’s dental implants and components for the cardiovascular field as well.
JMM’s current dental implants include titanium alloy fixtures, which are implanted into the jawbone, and abutments, the small titanium parts that connect a crown to the implanted fixture. JMM plans to enter the market for crowns in the near future by utilizing their ceramics technologies.
In cardiovascular markets, JMM supplies its centrifugal blood pump for external use during open-heart surgery to bypass the heart and keep a patient’s blood circulating throughout the body during lifesaving surgical procedures.
“Our mission is to contribute to human health by providing high-quality implants and medical devices to the orthopedic, dental and cardiovascular markets,” Kaneko stated. “The patients and their quality of life are our top priority.”