Aging societies have become a global phenomenon, and osteoporotic fractures have a significant impact on the wellbeing of the elderly. It is also common for seniors to have fractures and ligament damage from sports injuries or accidents. However, traditional manufacturing of customizable bio-active implants for the treatment of these injuries is difficult and costly. ITRI’s 3D Printing Biomimetic Materials and Structures for Tissue Integration (BioMS-Ti) can create medical devices that cater to both tissue growth and biomechanical needs, with the material being capable of decreasing product rigidity to avoid injuring surrounding tissue. Using 3D printing technology to design and manufacture the bio-active implants grants special flexibility to absorb the repeated stretch tension of ligaments, and the microstructure can improve osseointegration and soft-hard tissue integration.
Technology-wise, BioMS-Ti is an application of 3D model reconstruction, customized designs and additive layer manufacturing technologies to form a combination of three main features. First, the products have high strength and porosity. In terms of the printed material, the structure has high density (>99%) and porosity (≥40%), with a surface roughness of >25 μm. BioMS-Ti’s fatigue test also resulted in >5,000,000 cycles and boasts a high strength of 20-200 Mpa (controllable). Second, the implants are conducive to new bone growth. Composite materials such as biomedical ceramics or induction drugs can be added to the implant to foster bone cell growth, improving the recovery time of patients. Third, the technology can potentially have a wide variety of applications. Different types of bone materials can be produced from BioMS-Ti, such as internal fixation bone nails for the pelvis, hip joints, femur end, mandible, and skull, or ligament bone nails and bionic intervertebral discs.
BioMS-Ti can print different types of implants to treat various injuries, such as bone screws/nails, sacral plates, and interbody fusion cages.
While other similar products rely on rigid structures and cannot achieve bone integration or use polylactide that may cause inflammatory reactions, BioMS-Ti’s structural compression is 10 times higher than that of other products on the market. Thanks to advances in 3D additive manufacturing, BioMS-Ti allows for customized designs and a myriad of shapes and sizes. This is a novel development for biomedical bone materials and implants, and can provide bone material for use in sports medicine to treat different injuries tailored to each patient’s needs. It can also be designed to absorb stretch tension and reduce rigidity, allowing tissue growth and avoiding injury to surrounding tissue. In the future, the compound material properties of BioMS-Ti can even assist the chemical and textile industries in branching into the biomedical industry, and ITRI has already begun discussions with medical institutions and biomedical material manufacturers for further cooperation.