Low density, low stiffness load-bearing implant structures are a dream for orthopedic surgeons. In total hip replacements (THR), dense metals with higher density, stiffness, and strength than natural bone are traditionally used to replace the diseased or damaged hip, and help restore the natural hip function of the patient. Typical lifetime of a THR, however, is only seven to 12 years, and this lifetime has remained constant over the past 50 years. Low density and low stiffness implants are believed to increase the lifetime of THRs, and while researchers have attempted to produce implants with natural and bone-like properties for years, none have had much success so far.
Using metal-based rapid prototyping process, WSU inventors have developed a process to create functional, load-bearing implants that have low density and low stiffness. Our inventors have reduced the overall stiffness and weight of the implants to 30-50% without changing the composition, size or 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.
•Optimize the implants’ compositional similarities with natural bone
•Improved biological fixation
•Increased surface bioactivity
US Patent #11/675,006