HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
News
Materials & Assembly

Porous Metal Spine Implant Heals Bone

NO RATINGS
2 saves
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
A Baby Boomer's best friend
Beth Stackpole   7/19/2012 7:27:42 AM
NO RATINGS
Perfect timing for the aging baby boomer generation which wants to stay active and fit, and is thus a regular fixture at the orthopedist. This type of implant seems like it could do wonders for the all hip replacements, knee replacements and other rites of passage this generation seems to be encountering given their commitment to staying youthful.

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A Baby Boomer's best friend
williamlweaver   7/19/2012 8:46:50 AM
Wow. The fact that the application is for spine implants is impressive enough, but I'm impressed by the manufacturing process. Using a polymer substrate as a vapor deposition mold is awesome. --- Sort of like metal-infused ceramic, cermet, but with a polymer substrate - a "polymet" if you will. As we continue to see a miniaturization of electronics components, perhaps bio-compatible materials such as this will benefit from an increasing availability of tantalum...   

warren@fourward.com
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A Baby Boomer's best friend
warren@fourward.com   7/19/2012 9:35:45 AM
I waited but it wasn't until the end they used the word "nano."  I think this is key.  To incorporate this material into the body permanently, it would seem that the merging of metal an tissue couldn't be on a surface only.  It needs to be throughout the device just as the normal body parts are.  Clever lads!

I hope this method also finds its way to other areas- broken bones, hips, etc.  What a great idea!

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A Baby Boomer's best friend
Dave Palmer   7/19/2012 10:29:30 AM
NO RATINGS
@williamlweaver: Actually, as Ann's article points out, the polyurethane is pyrolized before the CVD is carried out, so the tantalum is deposited on a carbon substrate.  The resulting structure is said to be 99% tantalum and 1% carbon by weight.

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A Baby Boomer's best friend
williamlweaver   7/19/2012 11:31:20 AM
NO RATINGS
Yep... which is why I'm so impressed.

Use polymer methods to create the substrate material. Use foaming methods to create the correct porosity and shape. Pyrolyze the polymer to create a carbon latice with the appropriate geometry and then use this latice as an engineered scaffold to assemble the tantalum via vapor deposition.

How freaking elegant is that!?  =]

I agree my analogy to cermets is pretty loose. The resulting tantalum structure doesn't appear to get it's final mechanical properties as a polymer/metal composite.

I'm just wondering how soon this type of manufacturing process will be adopted for zeolite catalysts and other high-surface area materials like fuel cells. Maybe it already has... Great stuff!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A Baby Boomer's best friend
Ann R. Thryft   7/19/2012 11:38:55 AM
NO RATINGS
warren, I had the same idea about "nano" regarding the material's ability to be incorporated in to the body. As the article states, the manufacturer has already used this material successfully for making implants and other products for hips, knees, and extremities, as well as in the cervical spine (in the neck). What's new here is the use for the lumbar spine (in the lower back), at least in the US.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A Baby Boomer's best friend
Ann R. Thryft   7/19/2012 11:40:09 AM
NO RATINGS
williamlweaver, I also found the manufacturing process fascinating, especially the use of vapor deposition processes, which I've encountered previously in electronics manufacturing contexts. I'm not sure if you intended this implication, but your comment sounds like you may be thinking of the possibility of extending the materials and/or processes described in the article to biocompatible materials in electronics. Is that an accurate guess?

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A Baby Boomer's best friend
williamlweaver   7/19/2012 11:58:55 AM
NO RATINGS
Spot on, Ann! I'm a huge fan of biomemetic engineering for non-bio applications, which is marching us steadily into biological applications. 

The Singularity is being approached from all different directions...  =]

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A Baby Boomer's best friend
Ann R. Thryft   7/20/2012 12:18:19 PM
NO RATINGS
Aha. I thought so...(50s-era mad scientist rubbing hands together with gleam in eye, etc.).

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A Baby Boomer's best friend
Charles Murray   7/20/2012 7:18:26 PM
NO RATINGS
I do wonder about the performance of this material (especially in terms of elasticity) over time. Human backs do a lot of bending, twisting and compressing. This is an application where you can't afford to have plastic failure. Any idea how long this would last, Ann?

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Self-driving vehicle technology could grow rapidly over the next two decades, with nearly 95 million “autonomous-capable” cars being sold annually around the world by 2035, a new study predicts.
MIT’s Senseable City Lab recently announced the program’s next big project: “Local Warming.” The concept involves saving on energy by heating the occupants within a room, not the room itself.
The fun factor continues to draw developers to Linux. This open-source system continues to succeed in the market and in the hearts and minds of developers. Design News will delve into this territory with next week's Continuing Education Class titled, “Introduction to Linux Device Drivers.”
Dean Kamen tells an audience at MD&M East 2014 how his team created the DEKA Arm to meet DARPA's challenge to design a better prosthetic arm for wounded veterans.
The new draw-it-on-a-napkin is the CAD program. As CAD programs become more ubiquitous and easier to use, they have replaced 2D sketching for early concepting.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 4 - 8, Introduction to Linux Device Drivers
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service