Multi-material cellular structured orthopedic implants design: In vitro and bio-tribological performance


In this study, Selective Laser Melting (SLM) was used to produce mono-material Ti64Al4V-and NiTi-cubic cellular structures with an open-cell size and wall thickness of 500 mu m and 100 mu m, respectively. Bioactive beta-tricalcium phosphate (beta TCP) and polymer poly-ether-ether ketone (PEEK) were used to fill the produced structures open-cells, thus creating multi-material components. These structures were characterized in vitro in terms of cell viability, adhesion, differentiation and mineralization. Also, bio-tribological experiments were performed against bovine plate to mimic the moment of implant insertion. Results revealed that metabolic activity and mineralization were improved on SLM mono-material groups, when compared to the control group. All cell metrics were improved with the addition of PEEK, conversely to beta TCP where no significant differences were found. These results suggest that the proposed solutions can be used to improve implants performance.



subject category

Engineering; Materials Science


Costa, MM; Lima, R; Alves, N; Silva, NA; Gasik, M; Silva, FS; Bartolomeu, F; Miranda, G

our authors


This work was supported by FCT (Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia) through the grant SFRH/BD/140191/2018, the work contract CEECIND/04794/2007, the project PTDC/EME-EME/1442/2020 (Add2MechBio) and the project NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-029968. This work has been also funded by ICVS Scientific Microscopy Platform, member of the national infrastructure PPBI - Portuguese Platform of Bioimaging (PPBI-POCI-01-0145-FEDER-022122). Additionally, it was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020, UIDP/50011/2020 & LA/P/0006/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC (PIDDAC). Finally, this work was supported by FCT national funds, under the national support to R&D units grant, through the reference projects UIDB/04436/2020, UIDP/04436/2020, UIDB/50026/2020 and UIDP/50026/ 2020.

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