Low Density, Low Stiffness Load-Bearing Implant Structures


This invention relates to implants for total hip replacements or fixing physical hip joints damage. Using metal-based rapid prototyping process, WSU inventors have developed a process to create functional load-bearing implants yet low density and low stiffness.


Low density, low stiffness load-bearing implant structures are a dream for orthopedic surgeons.  In total hip replacements (THR), dense metals with high density, high stiffness, and strength than natural bone is traditionally used as implant to replace the disease or damaged hip and help restore the natural hip function of the patient. Typical lifetime of a THR, however, is only seven to twelve years, and this lifetime has remained constant over the past fifty years. Low density and low stiffness implants are believed to increase the lifetime of THRs and researchers through time have attempted to produce natural bone-like properties implants but failed in most cases. Our inventors have reduced the overall stiffness and weight of the implants to 30-50% without changing its composition, size, shape. The process they have developed can also be modified to add surface porosity for better biological fixation/bonding.

Applications and Advantages

•       Reduced stiffness and weight. Stiffness and weight reduced by 50% or more without changing the implant composition, size or shape

•       Further aspects of this design optimize the implants' compositional similarities with natural bone

•       Improved biological fixation

IP Status

Issued Patent 9,327,056



Learn More

Scott Steiger
Associate Director
Washington State University
(509) 335-7065
Reference No: 0827-OIPA-OC


Amit Bandyopadhyay
Susmita Bose

Key Words

Advanced Materials
Global Human and Animal Health