Bone implants will be made of ceramics: new technology will put patients on their feet

Russian scientists have created new bone implants

Russian scientists from the Skoltech Center developed a new method for the production of ceramic bone implants. They have a complex shape with a controlled porous structure, which greatly increases the efficiency of tissue fusion. The new development will make bone implants perfect. The ceramic base provides high resistance to chemicals. They can be customized with the advanced 3D printing technology.

The porous structures in that case ensure efficient cell growth around the implant. For tissue fusion to be successful, the pores must be several hundred microns in size. But the pores of the implant may be slightly larger.

Each of them has its own unique and individual porous structure and it is produced in the shortest possible time. The development is carried out by a group of specialists led by Professor Alexander Safonov. They managed to create implant models using the functional representation method. It's called FRep, and it has many benefits.

Modeling using this method provides a guarantee of the correctness of the result, since using other methods can have cracks in the model, unconnected faces. In addition, that approach provides complete parameterization of all microstructures, and, therefore, high flexibility in the rapid creation of variable 3D models.

It also offers many different tools to create different mesh structures. The new method, already within the framework of experiments, allowed Russian scientists to create cylindrical implants and a cubic diamond cell, allowing them to simulate a specific microstructure.

It is noteworthy that the new method allows changing the porous structure in order to produce implants of different densities in accordance with the individual needs of patients.

More information: Alexander Safonov et al, Design and Fabrication of Complex-Shaped Ceramic Bone Implants via 3D Printing Based on Laser Stereolithography, Applied Sciences (2020). DOI: 10.3390/app10207138