Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Material tested that could guarantee body protheses for more than 150 years

23.02.2010
Current body protheses do not last more than 10-15 years. After this time, the operation has to be repeated in order to change prothesis. It is usually problematic as, in general, it is elderly people that use the procedure.

Researcher Nere Garmendia, based in the Basque city of Donostia-San Sebastián, has just published her PhD, a thesis which may well mean the first step to solving this problem. According to Ms Garmendia, using a ceramic material called zirconia (Zr02), carbon nanotubes and nanoparticles of zirconia, a prothesis that will last more than 150 years can be produced.

The PhD thesis is titled Development of a new nanocompound material made of zirconia with coated carbon nanotubes, for orthopaedic applications. Ms Garmendia wished to show that the ageing and cracking of protheses could be avoided. To begin with, carbon nanotubes were added to the zirconia matrix – a technique that greatly strengthens its resistance. With this composite material as a base research was initiated.

The researcher reinforced the connection between the zirconia matrix and the nanotubes, with the intention of improving the transfer/distribution of loads. The nanotubes were coated with nanoparticles of zirconia and, in order for this to be effected, the nanoparticles were heated beyond their boiling point (hydrothermal synhtesis). This coating functioned as a bridge between the zirconia matrix and the nanotubes.

Ms Garmendia explained in her thesis that working at a nanometric scale is precisely the key to achieving long-lasting protheses. In a prior experiment with micrometric zirconia it was concluded that this material would end up considerably aged after 12 years. Nevertheless, as has been pointed out, apart from the zirconia matrix, adding carbon nanotubes and the nanoparticles of zirconia coating them, the material will not age -even after 150 years.
The maximum possible density

With the nanotubes coated, Ms Garmendia investigated the capacity for the displacement and dispersion of the composite obtained from the previous process, and also looked for its suitable point of density. Based on this and aided by plaster, she achieved the first compact pieces.

Subsequently, Ms Garmendia specified the number of coated nanotubes each piece had to have in order to achieve the optimum density at the end of the process. According to the researcher, adding zirconia nanoparticles to the nanotubes facilitates the dispersion of the material and reduces its viscosity, apart from helping to increase its density for the next and last stage: the synterisation stage. Synterisation is a process, used particularly in ceramics, in order to transform the material from powder to a compact solid. Not just any quantity is useful to achieve this maximum possible density and, thus, before synterisation, it has to be decided how many nanotubes are to be introduced and, of course, synterisation has to be subsequently carried out correctly.

As Ms Garmendia calculated, if the intention is to obtain the maximum possible density (98%), in order to start the composition, 1% of its volume must be of coated nanotubes. Finally, the material has to be synterised in argon for one hour at 1,300 degrees; not more nor less.
About the author

Ms Nere Garmendia Arcelus (Donostia, 1980) is an industrial engineer, having graduated in 2003 from TECNUN-University of Navarra. She undertook her PhD thesis under the direction of Isabel Obieta Vilallonga and Ana García Romero, from the Department of Mining Engineering and Metallurgy and Materials Sciences of the Higher Technical School of Engineering in Bilbao.

She is currently working at Inasmet-Tecnalia where she carried out her PhD. She also worked with other bodies for the research: INSA-Lyon in France (six months), the Institute of Ceramics and Glass-CSIC in Madrid (six weeks), the Donostia International Physics Center (on various simulations), the Universitat de Barcelona (microscopy) and the CINN-CSIC in Oviedo (on the development of the material).

Amaia Portugal | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elhuyar.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen
24.03.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Researchers make flexible glass for tiny medical devices
24.03.2017 | Brigham Young University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>