InssTek develops an Artificial Joint using Metal 3D Printing

South-Korea based metal 3D printing company InssTek has developed an artificial hip joint, and cup component using Metal Porous Coating (MPC) technology.

The latter is developed from DED type 3D printing technology and has enabled to 3D print patterns of porous structures on the surface of artificial joints using medical titanium (Ti) powder. Thanks to this technology, the artificial joint received FDA approval that ensures now a more viable utilization in healthcare applications.

For artificial joints to bind to bones, a porous structure is required to allow bones to grow on the surface of artificial joints. In the existing artificial joint manufacturing method, titanium (Ti) powder was sprayed on the surface of the artificial joint using Titanium Plasma Spray (TPS) technology to manufacture a rough structure. However, the artificial joint and titanium (Ti) powder are not completely bonded, and the bonding power of the coating layer is weak, therefore various problems have been reported.

Source: Dept of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul St Mary’s Hospital

Artificial joints, and titanium (Ti) powders are completely melted and combined as one alloy. In addition, the pattern of the porous structure is manufactured by 3D printing, and the optimal roughness and pore structure can be expressed. Also, the quality of the coated artificial joints is constant.

InssTek succeeded in porous coating ‘BENCOX Mirabo Z Cup Cortinium’, an artificial hip joint cup component by Korean artificial joint company Corentec, using MPC technology. The organization obtained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, InssTek succeeded in applying MPC technology to cobalt-chromium (CoCr) alloy for artificial knee joints and artificial ankle joints, and further research is being conducted to apply MPC technology to various industrial fields such as semiconductors and aerospace.

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