MedShape, Inc. :: 1575 Northside Drive, NW, Suite 440 :: Atlanta, GA 30318 USA :: 1.877.343.7016       Log In


What's in a name? At MedShape, our name conveys our very essence: science driven medical devices that utilize the unique capabilities of a new generation of biomaterials. MedShape has several innovative material technology platforms that convey how our vision, expertise, and passion continue to evolve orthopedic surgery. Are you ready to evolve with us?

Interesting Fact

Shape memory polymers are finding their way into everyday life. Potential new applications of SMPs in the automotive industry include
self-repairing fenders that use heat from a household hairdryer to remove dents.

Interesting Fact

Nitinol was discovered by accident in 1961 at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, hence the name Nitinol (Nickel Titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory). Nitinol has been used extensively in pipe couplers on F-14 fighter jets since the mid-1960s.


Additive manufacturing (or 3-D printing) is an emerging materials processing technology. This novel technology removes any design constraints due to the manufacturing process and provides complete flexibility to design a medical device specific to its desired function and application. In particular, 3-D printing allows for devices to be fabricated with complex geometric features (e.g. internal channels, porosity) or customized to match a patient's specific anatomy. 3-D printing can also improve manufacturing efficiency enabling devices to be fabricated in small batches at a lower cost with quicker turnaround.

Despite 3-D printing's numerous advantages, few 3-D printed metal orthopaedic devices have reached clinical use due to the negative impact the fabrication process imposes on the material's mechanical properties, putting 3-D printed devices at risk of failure in many load-bearing orthopaedic applications.1 MedShape is one of the first companies to develop and FDA clear a titanium alloy bone plate utilizing a novel 3-D printing process that maintains the mechanical properties close to the original bulk material.2


Appropriate triggers for shape change include: heat, light, and mechanical force. Shape memory polymers can "remember" multiple shapes and transition easily between those shapes when triggered to do so. SMPs can deform up to 400% and still recover their original shape without a loss of mechanical integrity. Appropriate triggers for shape change include: heat; light and mechanical force.

Though researchers have developed numerous formulations of SMPs, MedShape is the only company to have developed and introduced FDA cleared devices manufactured from shape memory polymers based on PEEK (polyetheretherketone) and PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) chemistries. Our proprietary PEEK Altera® biomedical polymer allows devices to enter the target surgical site in a compact geometry and then be triggered to deploy, with minimal mechanical force, into the optimal geometry for fixation. Devices manufactured from PEEK Altera are biocompatible, biostable, radiolucent and MRI safe.


Shape memory alloys (SMAs) have a history of successful human implantation in biomedical devices such as self-expanding cardiac stents, guide wires and orthopedic staples. Nickel-titanium (NiTi, Nitinol) is the most commonly used SMA and is capable of recovering strains up to 10 times more than traditional metals and alloys. SMAs have the ability to change their shape up to 8% and still fully recover their original geometry.

Fixation devices incorporating shape memory alloys can respond to local changes in the site of implantation, such as bone resorption, maintaining apposition of bony fragments and sustaining compression across fractures or fusion zones. We are the first company to clear through the FDA a bone fusion device comprised of both titanium and nickel-titanium, paving the way for a range of devices that are both strong and dynamic.

1Chen J, Zhang Z, Chen X, Zhang C, Zhang G, Xu Z. Design and manufacture of customized dental implants by using reverse engineering and selective laser melting technology. The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. 2014.

2Smith KE, Gall K, et al. Use of 3D Printed Bone Plate in Novel Technique to Surgically Correct Hallux Valgus Deformities. Techniques in Orthopaedics, 2016 (Accepted, in press).