Material Used in Orthopedic Implants

Material Used in Orthopedic Implants

Orthopedic implants materials can also have a critical role in the fixation procedure. The choice of the implant material involves rigidity, corrosion, biocompatibility and tissue receptivity, at the same time as its surface morphology affects its balance in the skeleton or the nearby cement mantle.

The best orthopedic implant material

The best implant material for orthopaedics can be defined as having the following characteristics:

  • Chemically inert;
  • Biocompatible;
  • Excellent strength;
  • Excessive fatigue resistance;
  • Low elastic modulus;
  • Absolutely corrosion-proof;
  • Good wear resistance;
  • Inexpensive.

Orthopedic implant manufacturers are regularly creating an investment in R&D to expand present materials and discover new ones to get in the direction of this description.

Manufactured Orthopedic Implants Materials

There are 3 types of materials at present utilized in prosthetic devices:

  • Metals;
  • Polymers;
  • And ceramics.


Metals utilized in orthopedic implants contain surgical grade stainless-steel (commonly 316L), cobalt-chromium (Co-Cr) alloys and natural industrial titanium (Ti) or titanium alloys.

Stainless-steel is used for non-permanent implants, consisting of internal fixation devices, due to its bad fatigue power and responsibility to go through plastic deformation.

Before using titanium, cobalt-based alloys had largely replaced stainless-steel as materials for perpetual implants. These alloys are usually more corrosion-resistant, attributable to the creation of a long-lasting chromium oxide surface layer. Despite the good corrosion resistance, ion release in vivo is a prime challenge, as chromium, nickel, and cobalt are recognized carcinogens.

Titanium utilized in orthopedic implants includes pure commercial titanium and titanium alloys, along with Ti-6Al-4V, as an instance. These metals had been certified to be extremely biocompatible. Though, some challenge stays as to the influence of vanadium and aluminum. Titanium and its alloys are extra corrosion resistant than Co-Cr alloys due to the formation of titanium oxide on the surface. This layer, however, can be porous and rather friable. Abrasion of this titanium oxide layer can result in the flow of particles into the encompassing tissues. Even though titanium implants have been the most biocompatible, those debris particles might also well target an unwanted tissue response with subsequent lengthy-term aseptic loosening of the implant.


Polymers are created by linking a wide variety of monomers in chemical reactions. In organic polymers, the monomer is a natural molecule with a central carbon atom.

The most used polymer, in orthopedics, is extremely-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWP) or high-density polyethylene (HDP). To this point, polyethylene is a good material for articulating with metallic or ceramic.

One principal problem in polymers is the slow, temperature-dependent, deformation it suffers below load, normally called “creep“. Every other concern with polyethylene is the latest put on.

Carbon fiber has been used for reinforcement of the mechanical energy of polyethylene. Even though creep and tensile intensity will be advanced, resistance to surface wears changed into decreased.

Regardless of the expanding implantation of cement-much fewer devices, the usage of self-curing bone cement, that’s an acrylic polymer, remains great. Cutting-edge cementing procedures are answerable for a lot of improved medical results of cemented Prosthetic Implants. It should but be highlighted that cement does no longer act as a glue, however simply as a filling which allows mechanical fastening of the implant and switch of the load from the prosthesis to the bone. Compared to cortical bone, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is susceptible to recognize almost all mechanical properties. Its low modulus of elasticity seems to be an improvement in that it lets in a gradual switch of strain to the bone.


The ceramics operated in orthopedic implants contain aluminium oxide and calcium phosphates. These ceramic substances are very resistant to compression, however weak under tension and shear, and brittle.

Aluminum oxide (Alumina) ceramics are shaped through the simultaneous practice of pressure and temperature to a powder. This system, called warm-pressing, ends in a final product with huge density, small grain size, and precise mechanical properties.

Ceramics have a high modulus in comparison to bone (330.000 mpa). This will result in a fracture of a bone or early loosening of ceramic acetabular sockets due to the high noncompliant elastic modulus.

Even though in vitro tests discovered fantastic outcomes to tribology and wear for the combination of alumina-to-alumina (head and socket), unacceptable wear after a few years of scientific use has been determined. Another cause for discontinuation of its use is the low strength of this ceramic. This property may adversely impact crack initiation and propagation. Instead, ceramic to HDP articulating surfaces are getting used.

Calcium phosphate ceramics are mainly attractive as implant coatings because of their excessive biocompatibility and reactivity. Titanium and titanium alloys are coated with hydroxyapatite (HA) using numerous techniques. Those calcium phosphate implant coatings were bring about strong early porous implant fixation and early bone ingrowth.