3D Printing Can Improve Osseointegrated Implants

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A study has evaluated two additive manufacturing methods for producing either fine- or coarse-textured titanium implants and compared the strength of bone integration, interlocking, and torque in rats given one or both types of the implants in the distal femurs. As the frequency of osseointegration increases, the ability to customize implant surface textures and geometries to match the specific anatomy of people with amputations will become more important, according to the study published June 1 in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. The study will be available at no cost until July 20.

One of the methods used in the study, electron beam melting, produces a coarse-textured implant, whereas the other method, direct metal laser sintering, can create either a fine- or coarse-textured surface. The researchers reported substantial differences between the fine-textured and coarse-textured implants based on mechanical testing to assess osseointegration and torsional properties, and measures of bone-volume fraction and bone-implant contact.