Synthetic Cranioplasty PEEK Versus UHMWP: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • End date
    Jun 13, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Cairo University
Updated on 13 March 2022


The purpose of this study is to report our experience with synthetic reconstruction of cranial defects using computer guided milled UHMWP, in terms of benefits and limitations both clinically and radiographically in comparison to PEEK implants.


Statement of the problem:

To this date, there is still no consensus on the ideal material for cranial reconstruction. Research journey involved the use of autologous grafts, allografts, xenografts, and a wide array of synthetic materials for cranioplasty. The autologous bone flap, although associated with less infection than allo or xenografts, is not always a possibility after comminution or osteomyelitis and still has the common drawbacks of storage, aseptic bone flap necrosis (ABFR) and the need for a second surgery. Titanium offers lower cost but is quite difficult to shape, radiopaque and exhibits high dehiscence with thin skin biotypes. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) has been gaining popularity during the recent years for lower rates of graft failure, however, it still holds a risk of postoperative inflammatory complications, is of exceedingly high cost most studies utilizing it are retrospective and observational.

Rationale for conducting the research:

Cranioplasty procedures carry functional and esthetic challenges and the most suitable graft to be used remains controversial. UHMWP use in biomedical applications is greatly due to its outstanding mechanical properties and biocompatibility which, when coupled with three D computer guided milling technology to reconstruct complex and large cranial defects, can provide durable patient specific implants (PSI). However, no interventional studies exist in the literature on its application in cranioplasty.

Explanation for choice of comparators:

PEEK as a semicrystalline thermoplastic polymer has a thickness and elasticity comparable to cortical bone making it one of the most commonly used bone substitute materials and is currently recommended as a standard viable option for cranial defects.

Condition Cranium; Deformity
Treatment Cranioplasty
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05250024
SponsorCairo University
Last Modified on13 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Adult patients > 18 years of age
Patients eligible for cranioplasty

Exclusion Criteria

Active infection
Medically compromised patients (ASA ≥3)
Hydrocephalus/Brain Swelling
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