The ACerS Student tour took place on Monday, October 24, at MS&T16 in Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Approximately 20 students (both graduate and undergraduate) participated.
Amedica Corporation is a biomedical corporation with scientific and manufacturing expertise to produce medical grade silicon nitride. The technical application presented to tour attendees was silicon nitride spinal implants. Amedica representatives explained how the spinal implants are used and how spinal fusion works.
The tour started with an overview of the company, the challenges they would like to solve pertaining to spinal fusion, a description of their spinal fusion products, and an overview of the properties of silicon nitride compared to PEEK and titanium. Then, the students took a tour of the processing facilities where they learned the step-by-step processing stages regarding how to make spinal implants, starting with pressing of the green bodies, to machining the green bodies, laser etching the implants, and heat treating them.
A presentation on the details of how spinal implants are used and implemented surgically was the next part of the tour. More detail was explained on how they interact with surgeons and the products and expertise they provide, as well as their business model for selling their products to surgeons. The tools used by surgeons to insert spinal implants were passed around, and students learned more about the details of the surgery.
The tour concluded with snacks and drinks with Amedica employees.
The American Ceramic Society wishes to thank Amedica Corporation for hosting this year’s ACerS student tour at MS&T16.