The implants, which are individually adapted to the respective body, should ensure good tolerability for the patient and remain functional for a long time. Within the framework of the interdisciplinary research group 5250, the LZH is researching the reproducible production of implants made of Ti6Al-4V with adjustable, graded porosity.
Graded materials should make implants more resilient
The titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V is known for its high strength and corrosion resistance. Due to its excellent biocompatibility, the metal is used in many medical applications, such as orthopedic surgery and prostheses. To be able to precisely adjust the stiffness of the implant, the LZH researchers use lattice structures. With the help of the lattice structures, they want to adapt the implant to the modulus of elasticity, i.e. the stiffness, of the human bone. In this way, they want to develop more resilient and ultimately more durable implants.v
They also want to make use of the advantages of graded materials: By varying the lattice structure within the component, the implant has different mechanical properties. An important question for scientists is how these graded mechanical properties of additively manufactured implants can be adapted to given load scenarios.
In search of the right process parameters
The project participants will not only vary the lattice structures, but also the process conditions of the laser-based powder bedding process, such as the laser power. The knowledge thus gained about the influences of the process and geometry parameters on the microstructure, mechanical properties, surface topography, corrosion, and failure properties of the implants should help to reproducibly manufacture implants in which porosity, surface properties, and microstructure can each be individually and precisely adjusted.
About the research group 5250
The research group 5250 "Mechanism-based characterization and modeling of permanent and bioresorbable implants with tailored functionality based on innovative in vivo, in vitro and in silico methods" was initiated by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) at the end of 2021. The DFG is funding the group for an initial four years with around 3.4 million euros (project number: 449916462). It is located at the TU Dortmund.
Scientists from TU Dortmund, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Reutlingen University, Hannover Medical School (MHH), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Rostock University Medical Center and Leibniz University Hannover are involved.
The spokesperson of the group is Professor Dr.-Ing. Frank Walther from the TU Dortmund, the co-spokesperson is Prof. Dr. med. dent Meike Stiesch from the Hannover Medical School, and the managing director is M.Sc. Jochen Tenkamp from the TU Dortmund.