Hierarchically structured titanium foams for tissue scaffold applications.
ABSTRACT We present a novel route for producing a new class of titanium foams for use in biomedical implant applications. These foams are hierarchically porous, with both the traditional large (>300μm) highly interconnected pores and, uniquely, wall struts also containing micron scale (0.5-5μm) interconnected porosities. The fabrication method consists of first producing a porous oxide precursor via a gel casting method, followed by electrochemical reduction to produce a metallic foam. This method offers the unique ability to tailor the porosity at several scales independently, unlike traditional space-holder techniques. Reducing the pressure during foam setting increased the macro-pore size. The intra-strut pore size (and percentage) can be controlled independently of macro-pore size by altering the ceramic loading and sintering temperature during precursor production. Typical properties for an 80% porous Ti foam were a modulus of ∼1GPa, a yield strength of 8MPa and a permeability of 350 Darcies, all of which are in the range required for biomedical implant applications. We also demonstrate that the micron scale intra-strut porosities can be exploited to allow infiltration of bioactive materials using a novel bioactive silica-polymer composite, resulting in a metal-bioactive silica-polymer composite.
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ABSTRACT: Implant stability is not only a function of strength but also depends on the fixation established with surrounding tissues [Robertson DM, Pierre L, Chahal R. Preliminary observations of bone ingrowth into porous materials. J Biomed Mater Res 1976;10:335-44]. In the past, such stability was primarily achieved using screws and bone cements. However, more recently, improved fixation can be achieved by bone tissue growing into and through a porous matrix of metal, bonding in this way the implant to the bone host. Another potentially valuable property of porous materials is their low elastic modulus. Depending on the porosity, moduli can even be tailored to match the modulus of bone closer than solid metals can, thus reducing the problems associated with stress shielding. Finally, extensive body fluid transport through the porous scaffold matrix is possible, which can trigger bone ingrowth, if substantial pore interconnectivity is established [Cameron HU, Macnab I, Pilliar RM. A porous metal system for joint replacement surgery. Int J Artif Organs 1978;1:104-9; Head WC, Bauk DJ, Emerson Jr RH. Titanium as the material of choice for cementless femoral components in total hip arthroplasty. Clin Orthop 1995;85-90]. Over the years, a variety of fabrication processes have been developed, resulting in porous implant substrates that can address unresolved clinical problems. The advantages of metals exhibiting surface or bulk porosity have led researchers to conduct systematic research aimed at clarifying the fundamental aspects of interactions between porous metals and hard tissue. This review summarises all known methods for fabricating such porous metallic scaffolds.Biomaterials 06/2006; 27(13):2651-70. · 7.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The production of highly porous parts from titanium, stainless steel, and nickel-based superalloys is of increasing interest in lightweight constructions. A new space-holder method uses carbamide (urea) and ammonium hydrogen carbonate to produce samples with porosities between 60 and 80 %. Depending on the shape and size distribution of the space holder, spherical and angular pores in the range of 0.1–2.5 mm were obtained.Advanced Engineering Materials 04/2000; 2(4):196 - 199. · 1.61 Impact Factor
Article: Processing of Titanium Foams[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Because of their excellent mechanical properties, low density and biocompatibility, titanium foams are attractive for structural and biomedical applications. This paper reviews current techniques for titanium foam processing, which are all based on powder-metallurgy because of the extreme reactivity of liquid titanium. A first group of processes is based on powder sintering with or without place-holder or scaffolds. A second group relies on expansion of pressurized pores created during prior powder densification.Advanced Engineering Materials 05/2004; 6(6):369 - 376. · 1.61 Impact Factor