Research / Design / Engineering / Production

Stryker Interventional Spine approached us to help them develop a Curette for minimally invasive Vertebral Augmentation. This tool is used to displace cancellous bone in the vertebrae, prior to filling the vertebrae with cement. The preferred design consisted of an offset T-handle with a thumb wheel depth adjuster. We worked closely with Stryker’s project team to ensure the solution was mechanically feasible, cost effective, and world class. Design details, surfacing, and color finish, and material contributed to building a common look and feel for the Stryker IVS product line.


The design process began by first identifying design cues from Stryker’s AutoPlex, which serves as a hub for these procedures. The unified look and product family branding was visualized through sketch ideation and overall proportion, size, and shape were manipulated to create the concepts. We referenced analogous mechanisms, studied various existing products, and utilized ergonomic data early and often to guide our decisions.



We created three CAD concepts and prototypes for testing and iterative refinement. The team traveled to educational interventional spine labs where we could place the prototypes in the hands of the users. Interviews, observation, and trial runs provided us with key information about the product’s performance. After multiple rounds of testing and refinements, we had a functioning prototype that satisfied the comfort, accuracy, and power needed, but it lacked a refined Class-A surface to tie it back to Stryker’s Common Look and Feel.

While maintaining the primary shape and size, the design team massaged the Curette’s form to achieve a pure, clean aesthetic. A faux surface breakup and large, soft corners were worked into the Curette’s surfacing. Attention was placed onto the thumb wheel to ensure that it was both aesthetically refined and highly functional while wearing surgical gloves.



Packaged with the data hand off, we provided Stryker and its suppliers with a style guide. This guide effectively communicated our design intent and surface treatments. We also paired the Curette’s development with packaging and color guidelines in order to to unify the user experience with the brand. The guidelines ensured that the packaging was simple, easy to read, and consistent across the product family. The IVS Curette was a success due to the tight partnership between Tekna and Stryker. By embracing the design process and engaging the user early and often, the Curette became a highly effective product.


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