A new study evaluated two additive manufacturing methods for producing either fine or coarse textured titanium implants and compared the strength of bone integration, interlocking, and torque in rats given one or both types of the implants in the distal femurs. The ability to apply this technology to customize implant surface textures and geometries to match the specific anatomy of human amputees is increasingly important as the trend in prosthetic devices moves toward transcutaneous osseointegrated implants rather than socket-cup fitting devices, according to an article published in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing website until July 20, 2017.
The article entitled "Osseointegration of Coarse and Fine Textured Implants Manufactured by Electron Beam Melting and Direct Metal Laser Sintering" is coauthored by David Ruppert, Ola Harrysson, PhD, Denis Marcellin-Little, DEDV, Sam Abumoussa, Laurence Dahners, MD, and Paul Weinhold, PhD, University of North Carolina (UNC), UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill; North Carolina State University (NCSU) and NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh.
Electron beam melting produces a coarse textured implant, whereas direct metal laser sintering can create either a fine or coarse textured surface. The researchers reported substantial differences between the two fine and coarse implants based on mechanical testing to assess osseointegration and torsional properties, and measures of bone volume fraction and bone-implant contact.