Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 719123, 9 pages
Review Article

Material Science in Cervical Total Disc Replacement

Department of Neurosurgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA

Received 31 July 2015; Accepted 17 September 2015

Academic Editor: Nicholas Dunne

Copyright © 2015 Martin H. Pham et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Current cervical total disc replacement (TDR) designs incorporate a variety of different biomaterials including polyethylene, stainless steel, titanium (Ti), and cobalt-chrome (CoCr). These materials are most important in their utilization as bearing surfaces which allow for articular motion at the disc space. Long-term biological effects of implanted materials include wear debris, host inflammatory immune reactions, and osteolysis resulting in implant failure. We review here the most common materials used in cervical TDR prosthetic devices, examine their bearing surfaces, describe the construction of the seven current cervical TDR devices that are approved for use in the United States, and discuss known adverse biological effects associated with long-term implantation of these materials. It is important to appreciate and understand the variety of biomaterials available in the design and construction of these prosthetics and the considerations which guide their implementation.