Laser-based processing of a novel near-beta Ti-Nb-Zr alloy for the production and functionalization of bone implants for patients with age-related osteoporosis
Laser-based processes are rapidly gaining in importance in implant manufacturing. Additive processes, especially selective laser melting (SLM), are considered THE key technology for metal implants. In addition to the potential for patient-individualized implant production, these material-efficient processes are characterized by a high degree of design freedom and the possibility of near-net-shape product manufacturing. The topographical condition of the implant surface is one of the most important factors for the growth of bone tissue (osseointegration) and is significantly responsible for the implant's bio- and body compatibility . The targeted surface functionalization can be realized with another key future technology - Direct Laser Interference Patterning. Customized hierarchical surface topographies with micro- and nanometer resolution can improve bone cell activity. As a result, the stability of the implant/bone connection can be precisely controlled and the healing process significantly improved.
This proposed project concentrates on the material-specific development of a holistic laser-based process chain for the production of orthopaedic moldings with tailor-made material and surface properties. The influence of SLM process parameters on the morphology and microstructure of massive moldings and the resulting mechanical properties will be investigated in detail. By applying the DLIP process, tailor-made surface structures are realized on highly complex- shaped bodies. Basically, a distinction is made between surfaces with different roughnesses on which hierarchical structures (micro- and nanostructure) are applied by means of DLIP processes. Their biocompatibility is evaluated with regard to bone cell growth stimulation by accompanying cell biological studies. On the basis of the results, demonstrators, i.e. complex implant geometries (osteosynthesis material) are realized with optimal parameter sets and evaluated with regard to their suitability.