Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laser Processes Promise Better Artificial Joints, Arterial Stents

Date:
September 17, 2009
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Researchers are developing technologies that use lasers to create arterial stents and longer-lasting medical implants that could be manufactured 10 times faster and also less expensively than is now possible.

Purdue mechanical engineering doctoral student Shaoyi Wen, at left, and technician Andrew Hecht review data using a "laser deposition" system. The system works by depositing layers of a powdered mixture of metal and ceramic materials, melting the powder with a laser and then immediately solidifying each layer to form parts. Researchers at Purdue's Center for Laser-Based Manufacturing are developing technologies that use lasers to create arterial stents and longer-lasting medical implants that could be manufactured 10 times faster and also less expensively than now possible. New technologies will be needed to meet the huge global market for artificial hips and knees.

Researchers are developing technologies that use lasers to create arterial stents and longer-lasting medical implants that could be manufactured 10 times faster and also less expensively than is now possible.

Related Articles


New technologies will be needed to meet the huge global market for artificial hips and knees, said Yung Shin, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of Purdue's Center for Laser-Based Manufacturing.

The worldwide population of people younger than 40 who receive hip implants is expected to be 40 million annually by 2010 and double to 80 million by 2030. In addition to speeding production to meet the anticipated demand, Shin said another goal is to create implants that last longer than today's.

"We have 200,000 total hip replacements in the United States," he said. "They last about 10 years on average. That means if you receive an implant at 40, you may need to have it replaced three or four times in your lifetime."

One of the researchers' techniques works by depositing layers of a powdered mixture of metal and ceramic materials, melting the powder with a laser and then immediately solidifying each layer to form parts. Because the technique enables parts to be formed one layer at a time, it is ideal for coating titanium implants with ceramic materials that mimic the characteristics of natural bone, Shin said.

Findings will be detailed in a presentation this week during the International Medical Device Expo's Advanced Laser Applications Conference in San Jose, Calif.

"Titanium and other metals do not match either the stiffness or the nature of bones, so you have to coat it with something that does," Shin said. "However, if you deposit ceramic on metal, you don't want there to be an abrupt change of materials because that causes differences in thermal expansion and chemical composition, which results in cracks. One way to correct this is to change the composition gradually so you don't have a sharp boundary."

The gradual layering approach is called a "functionally gradient coating."

Researchers used their laser deposition processes to create a porous titanium-based surface and also a calcium phosphate outer surface, both designed to better match the stiffness of bone than conventional implants.

The laser deposition process enables researchers to make parts with complex shapes that are customized for the patient.

"Medical imaging scans could just be sent to the laboratory, where the laser deposition would create the part from the images," Shin said. "Instead of taking 30 days like it does now because you have to make a mold first, we could do it in three days. You reduce both the cost and production time."

The laser deposition technique lends itself to the requirement that each implant be designed specifically for each patient.

"These are not like automotive parts," Shin said. "You can't make a million that are all the same."

The process creates a strong bond between the material being deposited and the underlying titanium, steel or chromium. Tests showed the bond was at least seven times as strong as industry standards require, he said.

The researchers use computational modeling to simulate, study and optimize the processes.

Additional research is needed before the techniques are ready for commercialization. Future work will involve studying "shape-memory" materials that are similar to bone and also have a self-healing capability for longer-lasting implants.

The researchers also are developing a technique that uses an "ultra short pulse laser" to create arterial stents, which are metal scaffolds inserted into arteries to keep them open after surgeries to treat clogs. The laser pulses last only a matter of picoseconds, or quadrillionths of a second.

Because the pulses are so fleeting, the laser does not cause heat damage to the foil-thin stainless steel and titanium material used to make the stents. The laser removes material in precise patterns in a process called "cold ablation," which turns solids into a plasma. The patterns enable the stents to expand properly after being inserted into a blood vessel.

The work is funded by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Laser Processes Promise Better Artificial Joints, Arterial Stents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915113540.htm>.
Purdue University. (2009, September 17). Laser Processes Promise Better Artificial Joints, Arterial Stents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915113540.htm
Purdue University. "Laser Processes Promise Better Artificial Joints, Arterial Stents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915113540.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins