3D printing is increasingly seeing applications using biomaterials and metamaterials – and now with a new meta-biomaterial. A team of researchers from TU Delft developed the hybrid materials – essentially the biomedical variant of metamaterials – which promote bone growth and can help increase the lifespan of 3D printed hip implants.
According to the university, the number of hip prostheses around the world should rise to 2.5 million annually by 2020, but about 10% of those implants will not be firmly fixed in place 10 years post-op, because current technology won’t allow it. The researchers put their heads together to develop a solution for loosening implants, and found it in the new meta-implant.
This new implant, created with a 3D printer and existing biomaterials, combines a conventional meta-biomaterial with an auxetic one. Auxetics become thicker perpendicular to the applied force when they are stretched, which means they have a negative Poisson’s Ratio. This means that the new material can keep 3D printed hip implants firmly in place for the long haul.
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