This project aims at strengthening and deepening the collaboration that has been started few years ago between University West (UW) in Sweden and VIT University Vellore in India. Although fruitful (one common paper was recently published), this collaboration has been so far supported by own initiatives and internal funding, thus the next logical step is to concretize it in a form of a collaborative project and this call suits very well goal.
The project has a strong interdisciplinary character, combining ultimate technological and research methods i.e. 3D printing (additive manufacturing), liquid feedstock coating techniques and complex biomaterials for rapid osseo-integration.
Additive manufacturing methods such as 3D printing have raised huge interest for several technical applications, and one of the most successful ones is medical implants. 3D printing gives a unique opportunity to produce easily different shapes using different materials and also control precisely the implants mechanical and physical properties. In this project it is targeted to produce porous Ti6Al4V implants with optimised strength and low modulus, to assure required mechanical signals for bone regeneration when compared to ceramic and polymers implants. In addition, interconnected pores in the metallic scaffolds enhances the eases the flow of nutrients and provides a larger surface area for cell adhesion and cell proliferation.
Liquid feedstock plasma spraying is an emerging coating process that enables the deposition of ultrafine droplets (typically from nano- to sub-micron size) that permits the production of coatings with unique microstructures, one or two orders of magnitude finer than those achieved typically in other thermal spray processes. Using liquid feedstock gives also the possibility to largely broaden the coating materials portfolio and even producing coating with unique composition e.g. composites or compositional gradient. In this project composition such as HAp + Antibacterial elements (Ag) or HAp + Mechanical strengthening (Graphene or C-nano tubes or a combination of the three are envisaged to be investigated.
Hydrogels are widely used for grafting of irregular shaped defects, or to fill the pores of a 3- dimensional interconnected network that can sufficiently stabilize the site of skeletal repair. In the bone matrix, type I collagen is the most abundant protein. In this project, along with the hydrogel, addition of small molecules are proposed as an alternate to Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP) to induce/enhance osteogenesis (bone formation) as they are easily available, cost effective and safer than BMP. The 3D printed porous coated implants with will be impregnated with hydrogel and small molecules to achieve early osteogenesis.
A close and interdependent collaboration between UW and VIT is foreseen in this project. VIT will firstly develop the 3D printed porous Ti6Al4V implants and send them to HW where coatings of different microstructure and composition will be deposited on the implants. After minimal coating characterisation the samples will be then sent back to VIT where they will be impregnated with hydrogel and small molecules and their physical, mechanical and biocompatibility properties assessed.
The progress of the work will be followed-up in regular meetings (Skype/1 month and physical 1/trimester) and results will be disseminated in workshops organised within the frame of this project as well as at different conferences both national and international.
Application for additional funds in form of new project/grants is also a goal of this project.
Beside the research objectives the project is expected to strengthen even more the collaboration between the two institutions at education level. The project is expected to boost the student exchange between VIT and HV, especially master students.
Research environment / Institution
- Primus (KK-miljö)
- Institutionen för ingenjörsvetenskap
Participants University West
- Vellore Institute of Technology University, VIT