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Project Funding

  • OPTIMIB - Optimization of Production and Treatment of Metal Implants by Additive Layer Manufacturing

    Technological Area: Innovation in Production Processes.
    Start date of project: June 2018
    Duration: 24 months
    Budget: 886.340,77 Euro


    The aim ofthis project will be the development of novel implantable structures used toreplace or augment missing tissues, using ALM technologies with customizedsurface treatments for improved osseointegration, achieving better biologicalresponse with shorter healing time.

    The main advantage offered by ALM is that it allows the manufacture of a metallic partas a whole, rather than having to produce individual components and assemble them to create the final product. The intrinsic surface roughness of the products made by these techniques has already been proven to be highly beneficial to osseointegration, especially so by the EBM process. We will widen this advantage by well beyond the state of the art in this area by further introducing a micron-scale roughness, which is a new subject being developed today. It is fore seen that a synergistic bi-modal roughness will boost the cells proliferation, reducing the healing to probably a half of that expected today. We will prove that by making a comparison between the performances ofdevices produced by SLM and EBM technologies having traditional and innovative surface treatments.

    The project will involve the use of the traditional alloys (Ti-alloys). Different design ofroughnesses will be tested on implants surfaces for anatomical regions that have different mechanical and surface properties requirements. The influence of process parameters and surface treatments on the critical performance characteristics of the final part will be assessed and optimized. The biological characterization will involve both the investigation of the reduced bacterial adhesion in correspondence to an improved osteointegration due to the fabrication and post-processing optimization.


    • Identify building process parameters that will enable the fabrication of parts with thebest possible compromise between mechanical properties and resolution formetallic parts.
    • Introduce a femtosecond laser treatment and post process HIP-ing on SLM and EBM surfacesto identify the effect on the structural and biological properties.
    • Tailor and assess the mechanical biocompatibility of the part through the optimization of the process parameters and geometries.
    • Develop methods to minimize the internal surface roughness, where needed, either throughpolishing methods or improving the build strategies.
    • Design structures using topology optimization that enable the production of complexlattice structures maintaining sufficient mechanical integrity to function in aload bearing application.
    • Perform full mechanical characterization of the solid and lattice prosthetics,including fatigue testing in-line with ISO standards.
    • Compare the application of machining on ALM parts to obtain holes on implants to theALM process with specifically designed holes to identify the optimal method toobtain proper fixation sites.


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