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 Can radar replace stethoscopes?
14.08.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Novel PET imaging method could track and guide therapy for type 1 diabetes
03.08.2018 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>