Highly porous titanium scaffolds for orthopaedic applications
For many years, the solid metals and their alloys have been widely used for fabrication of the implants replacing hard human tissues or their functions. To improve fixation of solid implants to the surrounding bone tissues, the materials with porous structures have been introduced. By tissue ingrowing into a porous structure of metallic implant, the bonding between the implant and the bone has been obtained. Substantial pore interconnectivity, in metallic implants, allows extensive body fluid transport through the porous implant. This can provoke bone tissue ingrowth, consequently, leading to the development of highly porous metallic implants, which could be used as scaffolds in bone tissue engineering. The goal of this study was to develop and then investigate properties of highly porous titanium structures received from powder metallurgy process. The properties of porous titanium samples, such as microstructure, porosity, Young's modulus, strength, together with permeability and corrosion resistance were investigated. Porous titanium scaffolds with nonhomogeneous distribution of interconnected pores with pore size in the range up to 600 pm in diameter and a total porosity in the range up to 75% were developed. The relatively high permeability was observed for samples with highest values of porosity. Comparing to cast titanium, the porous titanium was low resistant to corrosion. The mechanical parameters of the investigated samples were similar to those for cancellous bone. The development of high-porous titanium material shows high potential to be modern material for creating a 3D structure for bone regeneration and implant fixation.