NewBioGen "New Generation of orthopaedic Biomaterials"

NEWBIOGEN is a research project, partly funded by the European Commission in the 7th Framework programme. The project runs over two years (1st Aug 2014 to 31st July 2016) and has 10 partners from 6 different countries working on a new generation of orthopaedic Biomaterials.

Biomaterials industry and especially the orthopaedics sector represent a large market globally with growth rates of 7-15%. Unfortunately current biomaterials are not optimal and cause pain and distress to a large number of patients. Particularly their life cycle is very small compared to the average starting age of musculoskeletal disorders. The raw materials used can cause neurological problems as Alzheimer disease due to metal ions released in the body and the stress shielding effect can lead to bone atrophy. Also, the structural and mechanical properties of biomaterials used in implants are not optimal, chemical inhomogeneity and large distributions of porous dimensions are common factors in production process. There is a clear need for innovation in biomaterials production in terms of biocompatibility, mechanical, and surface properties.

NewBioGen introduces a new biomaterial production process that will solve the current problems and provide a new generation of orthopaedic bio-implants. Beta titanium alloys, containing fully biocompatible elements, will be optimised and validated as raw materials for the biomaterial production. The new production process will be using powder metallurgy technology. Use of powder metallurgy for bio-implants production will allow increased control of the final characteristics and properties of the product. It is expected to significantly reduce the chemical and porous inhomogeneities - a source of stress and cause of mechanical implant failure.

The next step in our novel approach is the application of ZrO2/Zr coating on the implant using Laser Engineered Net Shape techniques to give better wear resistance and lower the possibility of interfacial separation under repeated loading condition.

NewBioGen is taking a new route to establish methods that yield high precision and quality biomaterials and will validate their increased biocompatibility, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, enhanced mechanical and tribological properties.

NewBioGen Project (Grant Agreement 606112) is supported by the European Commission through the Programme Research for SMEs.