With technology advances, metallic implants claim to improve the quality and durability of human life. In the recent decade, Ti-6Al-4V biomaterial has been additively manufactured via selective laser melting (SLM) for orthopedic applications. This paper aims to provide state-of-the-art on mechanobiology of these fabricated components.
A literature review has been done to explore the potential of SLM fabricated Ti-6Al-4V porous lattice structures (LS) as bone substitutes. The emphasize was on the effect of process parameters and porosity on mechanical and biological properties. The papers published since 2007 were considered here. The keywords used to search were porous Ti-6Al-4V, additive manufacturing, metal three-dimensional printing, osseointegration, porous LS, SLM, in vitro and in vivo.
The properties of SLM porous biomaterials were compared with different human bones, and bulk SLM fabricated Ti-6Al-4V structures. The comparison was also made between LS with different unit cells to find out whether there is any particular design that can mimic the human bone functionality and enhance osseointegration.
The implant porosity plays a crucial role in mechanical and biological characteristics that relies on the optimum controlled process variables and design attributes. It was also indicated that although the mechanical strength (compressive and fatigue) of porous LS is not mostly close to natural cortical bone, elastic modulus can be adjusted to match that of cortical or cancellous bone. Porous Ti-6Al-4V provide favorable bone formation. However, the effect of design variables on biological behavior cannot be fully conclusive as few studies have been dedicated to this.
Dhiman, S., Sidhu, S.S., Bains, P.S. and Bahraminasab, M. (2019), "Mechanobiological assessment of Ti-6Al-4V fabricated via selective laser melting technique: a review", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 1266-1284. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-03-2019-0057
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