The reduction of stress shielding following Segmental Bone Defect (SBD) repair requires stiffness matching strategies. Accordingly, this work introduces a Ti6Al4V (Ti64) SBD tibial implant that mimics the segmented bone anatomy using a digital bio-model derived from X-Ray μCT Scan data. The implant features a sheathed periodic unit cell design that can perform slightly lower than the segmented bone being replaced for potential stiffness matching. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was carried out for the selection of unit cell and to predict the implant performance. The results were then compared to compression test data from a Ti64 Grade 23 implant manufactured using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to assess predictability. The outcome of this research shows an anatomical stiffness matched design that maybe suitable for SBD repair of a tibial segment that can be manufactured using DMLS. The developed implant exhibits Young's Modulus (E) of 12.03, 11.94 and 14.58 GPa using Maxwell's criterion, FEA and experimental (highest) methodologies respectively. This is slightly lower than the segmented bone that exhibited 18.01 GPa (ETibia) to allow for stiffness matching following a period of osseointegration depending on ‘critical size’. Furthermore, the surface roughness of the implant was found to be favourable for osteoblasts attachment.
Vance, A., Bari, K., & Arjunan, A. (2018). Compressive performance of an arbitrary stiffness matched anatomical Ti64 implant manufactured using Direct Metal Laser Sintering. Materials and Design, 160, 1281–1294. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matdes.2018.11.005