IQDEMY together with Sergey Nikolaevich Kulkov, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Professor of Tomsk State University and Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science of the Tomsk Scientific Center of the SB RAS, created a project to develop technology and devices for printing ceramic structures of variable density that follow the structure of human bone for personal implantation. In the course of this project, materials, technology and a device for printing bone bioimplants with high biocompatibility will be developed, taking into account individual anatomical features.
In medicine, there are often situations when a patient needs individual implants, made according to his anatomy. For example, bone implants are relevant when it comes to a defect in the bone that cannot be cured on its own. Therefore, obtaining artificial bones from biocompatible materials, taking into account the individual anatomical and morphofunctional characteristics of patients in the near future will become an important element in orthopedics and will avoid the use of materials with low biocompatibility.
All modern orthopedic implants lack an important characteristic of living tissues, namely, biocompatibility and the ability to support blood formation. In essence, bone is a natural composite of collagen and bone mineral (ceramics). Imitation of the bone structure involves the creation of porous scaffolds made of composite material, providing rigidity and high compressive strength, as well as the ability to control the pore size, density and their number along the entire length of the implant. For example, near the joints the bone areas are as dense as possible and there is no porous structure. And inside the tubular bones, such as the tibia, is the most extensive structure of high porosity, in which the bone marrow lives and blood is synthesized.
The material, previously created by a team of scientists of the TSU and the Institute of Physics and Technology, SB RAS under the guidance of Professor Sergey Kulkov, discovered a number of unique properties in the study, in particular, nanoceramics is not just accepted by the body as a native, it actually begins to act like natural bone. To create such a material, a mixture of bioceramics (70%) and binder (30%) is used, poured into a silicone mold. Next, binder is removed from the implant preform and the preform itself is fired at high temperatures. Thus, a certain porosity is achieved in those places where binder was between the ceramic particles. But with this technology it is impossible to regulate the pore size and make implants of variable structure.
During the negotiations, IQDEMY specialists have proposed a solution to this problem, and it will help with the printing full copies of bone structures suitable for implantation. This solution is the use of a 3D ceramic printer, line IQJET, involving the 3D printing of ceramic ink types and binder to create ready-to-use implants with high biocompability.
Currently, the manufacture of ceramic parts with variable density and structure is not implemented by anyone in the world.
Now the TSU laboratory applied for a grant to the Russian Science Foundation, where IQDEMY will act as a technology partner, the research topic and various areas of application of future technology are discussed in more detail.