New hybrid meta- biomaterial for hip implants

12 January 2018

Around the year 2020, the number of hip prostheses around the world is expected to rise to 2.5 million a year. Using the current technology, about 10% of these implants will no longer be firmly fixated 10 years after surgery. This inspired TU Delft Professor Amir Zadpoor to find a means of preventing implant loosening.

Meta-biomaterials are the biomedical variant of so-called metamaterials that display rare characteristics; they are invisible, strong yet lightweight, or display negative thermal expansion. In their publication, Zadpoor and his colleagues outline how these unusual characteristics have immense potential in the development of medical implants.

The researchers suspect that a hybrid prosthesis made of both meta-biomaterials with a positive Poisson’s ratio and meta-biomaterials with a negative Poisson’s ratio, will become much more fixated in the body. This will significantly improve the chances of bone growth onto the hybrid meta-biomaterials, securing the implant in place. Zadpoor also thinks that he will be able to use this new material in the future to address the most significant cause of implant loosening.