Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bake, bake, bake a bone

09.07.2008
Individual bone implants whose structure resembles that of the natural bone can now be produced quite easily.

First, a simulation program calculates the bone’s internal structure and porosity, then a rapid prototyping machine “bakes” the implant from metal powder.

Scientists have learnt many things from nature – for example, the structure of a bone. Bones are very light but nonetheless able to withstand extremely heavy loads. The inside of a bone is like a sponge. It is particularly firm and compact in certain places, and very porous in others. The lightweight construction industry is especially interested in copying this construction method.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Applied Materials Research therefore developed a simulation program that calculates the internal structure and density distribution of the bone material. From this, the scientists were able to derive the material structure for other components. The program simulates how the structure needs to be built in order to meet the specified requirements.

The researchers have now managed to put these simulations successfully into practice. Engineers can produce complex components with the aid of rapid prototyping technology. This involves coating a surface with wafer-thin layers of special metal powder. A laser beam heats – or sinters – the powdered metal in the exact places that need to be firm. “It’s like baking a cake,” says Andreas Burblies, spokesman for the Fraunhofer Numerical Simulation of Products, Processes Alliance.

Any remaining loose powder is subsequently removed. “The end product is an open-pored element,” explains Burblies. “Each point possesses exactly the right density and thus also a certain stability.” The method allows the engineers to produce particularly lightweight components – customized for each application – that are also extremely robust. In the meantime, the researchers have further enhanced the process to the point where they can actually change the internal structure of the parts after production by means of precision drilling.

“We can manufacture and adapt the parts exactly as required,” says Burblies. This makes the technique very attractive to a number of industries, among them the manufacturers of bone implants. It is easy to produce individual implants with an internal structure that resembles the patient’s bone.

Metal powders made of biomaterials such as titanium and steel alloys make it possible to reconstruct other bone elements, such as parts of the knee. And it goes without saying that the lightweight construction industry, especially aircraft, automobile and machine manufacturers, all benefit from the robust workpieces, as they are better able to withstand stress of every kind.

Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.zv.fraunhofer.de
http://www.fraunhofer.de/EN/press/pi/2008/07/ResearchNews072008Topic2.jsp

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht New technique makes brain scans better
22.06.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

nachricht New technology enables effective simultaneous testing for multiple blood-borne pathogens
13.06.2017 | Elsevier

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>