Reed Ayers, PhD
Assistant Clinical Professor, Orthopedics

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Graduate Schools :
  • MS, University of Colorado - Boulder (1995)
  • PhD, University of Colorado - Boulder (1999)
Undergraduate School:
  • BS, University of Colorado - Boulder (CO) (1988)
Department: Orthopedics

Professional Titles

  • Assistant Research Professor

Research Interests

As a materials engineer working in a clinical environment, for the past 5 years and ongoing, I am investigating the how and why spinal instrumentation fails in-vivo. Combining my background in materials engineering, synthesis, and corrosion research I set up a program at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine to investigate microbial influenced corrosion of orthopedic alloys. My discoveries from data collected via my ongoing retrieval of patient hardware include: 1) the association between intrinsic device material properties and detrimental patient outcomes; 2) the presence of bacteria local to the hardware and diagnosed infection and metallosis (leaching of biomedical alloy elements into the surrounding tissues). I discovered that the standard clinical method for bacterial identification rarely matches the bacteria sonicated directly from hardware removed from a patient. Using my experience in metallurgical methodologies combined with genetic analysis from sonicated hardware I created the infrastructure to establish the link between diseases such as metallosis and infection to the microbial milieu on the implanted hardware. I am an active member of American Standards and Testing and Materials International (ASTM) and International Standards Organization (ISO), being involved with the development of standards used to retrieve devices and hardware from patients for study (ASTM F561-19 - Standard Practice for Retrieval and Analysis of Medical Devices, and Associated Tissues and Fluids) as well as standards for materials synthesized and used in medicine (ASTM committees F04.02 – Subcommittee on Orthopedic Devices; F42.07.03 - Subcommittee on Medical/Biological; ISO/TC 150/WG 16 – Antimicrobial properties of implants) thus, giving me the experience and knowledge concerning the design and testing for orthopedic devices. I developed high energy/high speed synthesis techniques using solid/solid reaction methods to synthesize biomedical alloys and ceramics using solid state redox reactions (3 Patents). This understanding gives me unique insight as to how materials interact with the tissue microbiome which, in outside industries, is termed Microbial Influenced Corrosion (MIC). My work is accepted in the clinical world with publications such as a book chapter used for the AAOS Board Certification for all surgeons – Ayers and Singh. Core Sciences: Biomaterials. In: Jay R. Lieberman, MD, (ed) AAOS Comprehensive Review, 2020. Overall, as the sole researcher in this area during this time, I published 2 book chapters including the biomaterials chapter and Reed A. Ayers, Evalina Levina Burger, Christopher J. Kleck, Vikas Patel, Metallurgy of Spinal Instrumentation in “Advances in Metallic Biomaterials Technology” Mitsuo Niinomi, Takayuki Narushima, Masaki nakai (eds.). Springer Series in Biomaterials Science and Engineering, Springer-Verlag Gmbh Heidelberg (June, 2015).

Publications

  • Ayers R, Noschenko A, Ou-Yang D, Burger E, Patel V, Kleck CJ. Laser Marking of Spine Rods Is Strongly Associated With Risk of Clinical Rod Failure. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2022 Jan 15;30(2):e252-e263. PubMed PMID: 34715690
  • Ayers R, Patel V, Burger E, Cain C, Ou-Yang D, Wessell N, Kleck C. Corrosion of Titanium Spinal Explants Is Similar to That Observed in Oil Field Line Pipe Steel: Evidence of Microbial-Influenced Corrosion In Vivo. Orthopedics. 2020 Jan 1;43(1):62-67. PubMed PMID: 31958342
  • Reed Ayers and Kern Singh, Core Sciences: Biomaterials. In: Jay R. Lieberman, MD, (ed) AAOS Comprehensive Review, 2010.
  • Reed A. Ayers, Evalina Levina Burger, Christopher J. Kleck, Vikas Patel, Metallurgy of Spinal Instrumentation in “Advances in Metallic Biomaterials Technology” Mitsuo Niinomi, Takayuki Narushima, Masaki nakai (eds.). Springer Series in Biomaterials Science and Engineering, Springer-Verlag Gmbh Heidelberg
  • Reed Ayers, Mackenzie Miller, Jeffery Schowinsky, CJ Kleck, Evalina Burger, Vikas Patel. Three Cases of Significant Metallosis in the Spine. J Mater Sci: Mater Med (2018) 29: 3.
  • F561—19 Standard Practice for Retrieval and Analysis of Medical Devices, and Associated Tissues and Fluids1
  • WK62923 New Specification for Standard for Additive Manufacturing Finished Part Properties Standard Specification for Precipitation Hardening Stainless Steels via Powder Bed Fusion
  • Ayers R, Miller M, Schowinsky J, Burger E, Patel V, Kleck C. Three cases of metallosis associated with spine instrumentation. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2017 Dec 1;29(1):3. PubMed PMID: 29196871
  • Ayers R, Hayne M, Burger E. Spine rod straightening as a possible cause for revision. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2017 Aug;28(8):123. PubMed PMID: 28698941
  • Reed A, Christopher K, Mackenzie M, Evalina B. Bacterial Infection of Spine Instrumentation and Microbial Influenced Corrosion (MIC): Chicken or Egg. Biomed J Sci & Tech Res 1(6)- 2017.
  • Vollmer NL, Spear JR, Ayers RA. Antimicrobial activity and biologic potential of silver-substituted calcium phosphate constructs produced with self-propagating high-temperature synthesis. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2016 Jun;27(6):104. PubMed PMID: 27094319
  • Vollmer N, King KB, Ayers R. Biologic Potential of Calcium Phosphate Biopowders Produced via Decomposition Combustion Synthesis. Ceram Int. 2015 Jul 1;41(6):7735-7744. PubMed PMID: 26034341
  • Metallurgy of Spinal Instrumentation RA Ayers, EL Burger, CJ Kleck, V Patel - Advances in Metallic Biomaterials, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2015, 53-70
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Professional Memberships

  • ASTM (F04 and F42 committees), Voting Member
  • AAOS, Member

General Information

Graduate Schools:
  • MS, University of Colorado - Boulder (1995)
  • PhD, University of Colorado - Boulder (1999)
Undergraduate Schools:
  • BS, University of Colorado - Boulder (CO) (1988)
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Department: Orthopedics
Contact Us
CU Anschutz
Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place
Campus Box C290
Aurora, CO 80045

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