The Institute for Production Engineering and Forming Machines (PtU) at the TU Darmstadt is researching a new process for the production of nanostructured implant materials. The nanostructure improves biocompatibility compared to conventional implants, thereby increasing the health and quality of life of patients. Researchers from medicine, material sciences and mechanical engineering are working together in the interdisciplinary project team.
The IdentiTI project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the SME innovation offensive Materials Research for Health and Quality of Life. Project partners are the medical technology start-up ADVANTIQX, the Institute for Materials at the TU Braunschweig and the Schweizer Feinerwektechnik GmbH.
The production of nanostructured implant materials
One process developed by PtU in Darmstadt for the production of fine-grained materials is Equal Channel Angular Swaging (ECAS). The focus of current research work is on the development of a new process chain in which the fine-grained implant material is produced continuously and thus economically from coarse-grained starting material via grain refinement. The aim is to adapt and further develop the process chain for the production of nanostructured titanium alloys for implants. The process allows an incremental shearing of the material by oscillating tools with shaped jaws at a continuous feed.
Currently, the forming behaviour of titanium and the correlation of process and material parameters are being researched. The stiffness of the material is adapted to the stiffness of the human bone by a downstream heat treatment at the Institute for Materials at the TU Braunschweig (IfW). This ensures optimal load transfer between the implant and the bone, preventing bone loss due to tissue underloading and preventing implant loss.
In addition to the material, the design and finishing of the implant is crucial for load transfer. The young medical technology start-up ADVANTIQX and the company Schweizer Feinwerktechnik are working on refining the nanostructured materials into an innovative implant.