Printing bone microstructure

Background: Bone associated diseases such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, or bone metastases constitute significant personal, social, and economic burden affecting millions of patients in ageing societies world-wide and the UK in particular. While pharmacological osteoporosis treatments are often insufficient for the non-average patient, no effective pharmacological treatment is available for osteoarthritis or bone metastases so that implants are often the only option. Tailoring treatment solutions based on personalised computational bone strength assessments or personalised implants, manufactured on demand, could help to lower the socio-economic burden.

Project: The project aims at developing advanced manufacturing techniques facilitating personalised implants. Key tasks involve

(i) review the state-of-the-art in bone printing,
(ii) develop a suitable technology, e.g. by modifying an existing 3D printer, and
(iii) print a hierarchical, fibre reinforced surrogate of bone.

Impact: If successful, the project will have direct, positive impact on current research on advanced personalised treatments, e.g. adaptive and responsive implants, that could consist of organic and biomechatronic hybrids uniting the essential elements of system function, physiology, measurement and control.

Supervisor name: 
Uwe Wolfram
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses:

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