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Biomimetic porous titanium scaffolds for orthopaedic and dental applications

posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Alireza Nouri, Peter HodgsonPeter Hodgson, Cui'E Wen
The development of artificial organs and implants for replacement of injured and diseased hard tissues such as bones, teeth and joints is highly desired in orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic prostheses have shown an enormous success in restoring the function and offering high quality of life to millions of individuals each year. Therefore, it is pertinent for an engineer to set out new approaches to restore the normal function of impaired hard tissues.

Over the last few decades, a large number of metals and applied materials have been developed with significant improvement in various properties in a wide range of medical applications. However, the traditional metallic bone implants are dense and often suffer from the problems of adverse reaction, biomechanical mismatch and lack of adequate space for new bone tissue to grow into the implant. Scientific advancements have been made to fabricate porous scaffolds that mimic the architecture and mechanical properties of natural bone. The porous structure provides necessary framework for the bone cells to grow into the pores and integrate with host tissue, known as osteointegration. The appropriate mechanical properties, in particular, the low elastic modulus mimicking that of bone may minimize or eliminate the stress-shielding problem. Another important approach is to develop biocompatible and corrosion resistant metallic materials to diminish or avoid adverse body reaction. Although numerous types of materials can be involved in this fast developing field, some of them are more widely used in medical applications. Amongst them, titanium and some of its alloys provide many advantages such as excellent biocompatibility, high strength-to-weight ratio, lower elastic modulus, and superior corrosion resistance, required for dental and orthopedic implants. Alloying elements, i.e. Zr, Nb, Ta, Sn, Mo and Si, would lead to superior improvement in properties of titanium for biomedical applications.

New processes have recently been developed to synthesize biomimetic porous titanium scaffolds for bone replacement through powder metallurgy. In particular, the space holder sintering method is capable of adjusting the pore shape, the porosity, and the pore size distribution, notably within the range of 200 to 500 m as required for osteoconductive applications. The present chapter provides a review on the characteristics of porous metal scaffolds used as bone replacement as well as fabrication processes of porous titanium (Ti) scaffolds through a space holder sintering method. Finally, surface modification of the resultant porous Ti scaffolds through a biomimetic chemical technique is reviewed, in order to ensure that the surfaces of the scaffolds fulfill the requirements for biomedical applications.


Title of book

Biomimetics learning from nature

Chapter number



415 - 450



Place of publication

Rijek, Croatia





Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2010, InTech




A Mukherjee