R&D Vice-President Ceramic Materials,
    Saint-Gobain Innovative Materials, France

    Ceramic as key enabler for sustainability
    Thanks to unique intrinsic properties, ceramic based solutions could propose very specific solutions necessary to support a more sustainable world. Especially ceramic based solutions are deeply involved into solving challenges relative to circular economy; going toward more green mobilities; decarbonation of many industries like steels, aluminum and glass; energy generation and storage; supporting water preservation; digitalization. There are significant technical hurdles that will have to be approached.
  • Richard GAIGNON
    CEO, 3DCeram, France

    Smart Factory: vision of the future ceramic industry
    The Covid issues and the war Ukraine are leading to major changes in our society and are causing us to rethink entirely the model of production. The smart factory is a concept that emerges from the digitalization of our society and technologies. It is one of the solutions to the energy crisis that we are currently experiencing and whose outcome is an intensive decarbonization of our productive uses. The smart factory concept is developing around strategic production issues that must now be agile and exact. The new digital manufacturing technologies are relevant tools to manage production in the shortest possible time and in the right quantity. Those digital technologies will integrate a work flow that offers prospects for mass customization, working in concert with environmentally friendly logistics, and near to shape in order to sinter only the quantity needed. It is around a protean artificial intelligence that the smart factory will be able to develop to be ever more agile and accurate.
  • Alessandro Alan PORPORATI
    Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs, CeramTec GmbH, Germany

    University of Trieste, Italy

    ZPTA ceramic bearing surfaces as a preferred choice in joint arthroplasty?
    The growing number of hip and knee arthroplasty procedures in most OECD countries require solutions and adequate planning to reduce the future burden of disease and its economic consequences. A growing number of primary arthroplasties are performed on younger and more active patients, consequently this cohort will be at high risk for multiple revisions in their lifetimes. Since revision heavily affects the patient and the healthcare system, the use of implant systems with a lower risk for revision and the use of value-based payment models could be effective strategies for reducing healthcare expenditures in the long-term.
    Tribological bearing couple represents one among the variables affecting outcomes after joint arthroplasty. The materials chosen must meet not only the properties required by the application, but also the highest quality, beyond just compliance, regardless of commercial demand. This necessitates continuous development of manufacturing technology, which in turn needs continuous research to deepen knowledge in the field of materials science. These are the necessary conditions to ensure the best clinical outcomes, reflected in a low incidence of revision and patient satisfaction.
    With the introduction of the Zirconia, Platelet-toughened Alumina (ZPTA) with brand name BIOLOX®delta by CeramTec GmbH (Plochingen, Germany) in 2003, ceramic components have established themselves as durable bearings in hip arthroplasty and become the preferred material on the head side in many countries worldwide. Current best available evidence suggests indeed a favorable long-term benefit-risk-ratio of ZPTA bearings. International joint registries also give strong indications that ceramic composite or mixed ceramic bearings in THA are associated with a lower overall risk of revision, mainly driven by a lower risk of revision for periprosthetic joint infection than the other bearing choices, probably the most serious complication in total joint arthroplasty.
    This relentless dedication to improvement of the material knowledge provides the possibility of its use in other applications. For example, ceramic could also become the (bio-)logical alternative in hip resurfacing. Last, ceramic knee arthroplasty implants made of BIOLOX®delta have been introduced in the EU market since 2006. The FDA recently confirmed (2022) the knee replacement device of CeramTec made of BIOLOX®delta ceramic meets the criteria of a Breakthrough Device.
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