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Development of a novel biodegradable porous iron-based implant for bone replacement

: Wegener, B.; Sichler, A.; Milz, S.; Sprecher, C.; Pieper, K.; Hermanns, W.; Jansson, V.; Nies, B.; Kieback, B.; Müller, P.E.; Wegener, V.; Quadbeck, P.

Fulltext ()

Scientific Reports 10 (2020), Art. 9141, 10 pp.
ISSN: 2045-2322
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IFAM, Institutsteil Pulvermetallurgie und Verbundwerkstoffe Dresden ()

Bone replacement and osteosynthesis require materials which can at least temporarily bear high mechanical loads. Ideally, these materials would eventually degrade and would be replaced by bone deposited from the host organism. To date several metals, notably iron and iron-based alloys have been identified as suitable materials because they combine high strength at medium corrosion rates. However, currently, these materials do not degrade within an appropriate amount of time. Therefore, the aim of the present study is the development of an iron-based degradable sponge-like (i.e. cellular) implant for bone replacement with biomechanically tailored properties. We used a metal powder sintering approach to manufacture a cylindrical cellular implant which in addition contains phosphor as an alloying element. No corrosion inhibiting effects of phosphorus have been found, the degradation rate was not altered. Implant prototypes were tested in an animal model. Bone reaction was investigated at the bone-implant-interface and inside the cellular spaces of the implant. Newly formed bone was growing into the cellular spaces of the implant after 12 months. Signs of implant degradation were detected but after 12 months, no complete degradation could be observed. In conclusion, iron-based open-porous cellular biomaterials seem promising candidates for the development of self-degrading and high load bearing bone replacement materials.