By: R. Comesaña1, F. Lusquiños1, J. del Val1, T. Malot2, A. Riveiro1, F. Quintero1, M. Boutinguiza1, P.Aubry2,3, J. Pou1

1 Applied Physics Dpt., Universidade de Vigo, E.T.S. Ingenieros Industriales, Lagoas-Marcosende, E-36310, Vigo, SPAIN

2 ERDT/STAMP, Arts et Métiers Paris Tech, 151 Bd de l’Hôpital, 75013, Paris, FRANCE

3 DEN/DPC/SCP/LILM, CEA/Saclay, 91191, Gif-sur-Yvette, FRANCE

A common challenge in regenerative medicine is the repair of bone defects produced by severe trauma, tumors resection, or congenital deformity. When the defect is relatively large, bone self healing is not produced by the body, and the so called critical‑size defect requires an implant or bone graft material addition to perform osseous reconstruction.

One approach to solve this problem is the use of autogenous bone grafts. Harvested bone from the same patient is utilized to fill the defect, reducing the possibilities of graft rejection. Nevertheless, this solution has some drawbacks like additional pain and different post‑operative complications. Thus, in these days, the scientific community is putting much effort in the development of synthetic material implants capable to replace the lost bone and to mimic its biological functions.

Within the scenario of the different materials with potential as bone substitution implants, the bioactive ceramics are strategically positioned, not only showing biocompatible behaviour as certain metallic alloys and polymers, but in addition leading to osteointegration when placed within the human body. What this means is that the ceramic biomaterial not only avoids adverse body reaction, but also promotes bone cell proliferation and directly bonds to human bone.

The Applied Physics Department, at the University of Vigo (Spain), in collaboration with ERDT laboratory at Arts et Métiers Paris Tech (France), addressed the delicate task of bioactive ceramics processing by rapid prototyping based on laser cladding. The aim of the work was the assessment of the processing capabilities of this laser assisted technique to produce bioceramic implant materials to overcome the problem of cranial defects restoration. Processed material thermal cycle and processing atmosphere extensively influence the mechanical and microstructure properties of the processed ceramic, which play a crucial role in the obtained material bioactivity and resorbability in biological conditions.

The benefits of this approach are a shaped bioactive implant tailored to the patient requirements, produced from the three-dimensional data from the patient diagnosis, by a very dynamic processing technique and in short reaction time. Molds construction, addition of non-bioactive binders and postprocessing treatments are avoided using this technique. The surgical procedure time is reduced and migration of graft material particles is avoided by keeping the bioactive material within the desired geometry after implantation. In addition, final aesthetic results after bone restoration can be predicted.

Comesana-M505- Image-Laser-Assisted processing of 2D Bioceramic Structures

The above brief overview was extracted from its original abstract and paper presented at The International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO) in Orlando, FL. To order a copy of the complete proceedings from this conference click here