Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Applied Materials Research in Bremen, Germany have developed biodegradable surgical screws. The screws are a composite of polylactic acid and hydroxyapatite, biodegradable over 24 months. Hydroxyapatite, a major component of bone, promotes bone growth into the screw.
From a recent Fraunhofer Institute press release:
The engineers at IFAM have developed a granulate from the biomaterials which can be precision-processed using conventional injection molding methods, obviating the need for any post-processing such as milling. The complex geometry is achieved in a net-shape process, producing a robust screw. The properties of this prototype come very close to those of real bone. Its compressive strength is more than 130 newtons per square millimeter, whereas real bone can withstand between 130 and 180. What’s more, the injection molding process has a positive side effect. Normally, the powder injection molded part has to be compressed at very high temperatures of up to 1400° Celsius. “We only need 140 degrees for our composite materials,” says Imgrund. In future the engineers intend to develop other bioimplants using their energy-saving process.
Full story: Bone-hard biomaterial…