Porous titanium structures for patient specific implants

Porous structures with tailored structural stiffness can improve the load transfer from implant to bone and therefore, have great potential in orthopaedics and traumatology.

For load bearing bone implants titanium and its alloys, such as Ti6Al4V are widely used, due to their high strength to weight ration and osseointegrative properties. However, bone resorption and loosening of implants is related to the significantly higher stiffness of dense Ti6Al4V, leading to stress shielding that causes bone resorption and may ultimately lead to loosening of the implant. Porous structures with structural stiffness adapted to bone tissue can improve the load transfer and therefore, have great potential in orthopaedics and traumatology. The powder-bed based laser melting (PBF-LB/M) is an additive manufacturing technology that allows the generation of such highly complex metal structures based on a 3D-model.

The goal of this work was to establish suitable structural parameters of additively manufactured porous titanium structures for patient-specific bone implants that allow to tailor structural mechanical properties and biological response. Therefore, 3D-porous structures with various pore sizes and shapes were designed and manufactured in Ti6Al4V using laser powder bed fusion (PBF-LB/M) and investigated regarding cell biological response and mechanical properties.

The results suggest the possibility to design mechanical properties with gradient porosity without decisively affecting biological response within the investigated range.


Link to publication