Biomaterials

Make no bones about titanium

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Science  12 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6372, pp. 173-174
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6372.173-f

Titanium and its alloys with aluminum or niobium have been used for medical implants, such as metal plates to hold fractured bones together, because titanium bonds well to bone. However, pure titanium is much stiffer than bone material, and it can shield the surrounding bone from normal loads and stresses. This causes the bone to weaken because remodeling depends on stress history. Takizawa et al. compressed and sheared titanium fibers to make plates with the same elastic modulus of bone cortex. By being porous, these plates become suitable scaffolds for cell infiltration and bone repair. In vivo studies in rabbits showed that the plates could help immobilize small bone fragments, without the risk of leaching niobium or aluminum into the host.

Adv. Mater. 10.1002/adma.201703608 (2017).

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