Additive Manufacturing of Bone Graft Ceramics

A. Steinmark, I. Ivanov
Materic Inc., Maryland, United States

Poster stand number: W102

Keywords: ceramics, hydroxyapatite, alumina, 3D printing, grafts

Materic is developing a technique to manufacture custom bone grafts made of hydroxyapatite (the primary material in bone) that are extremely strong, can be produced in complex shapes, and have variable densities to match a patient’s own bone. Compared to autograft or allograft procedures, ceramic graft materials such as hydroxyapatite (HAp) do not face quantity limitations, carry limited risk of morbidity or infection of the donor site, and are easily sterilized and stored. Unlike most ceramics which are generally fragile, have poor mechanical strength, and can be difficult to mold into a desired shape; the Direct Coagulation Printing (DCP) process allows for 3D printing complex geometries without the need for “pre-scaffold” structures. Additionally, the inherent isotropic sintering of the material allows for increased mechanical properties, to control sintered density (to match the local bone density), and reduce the failure rate of manufactured parts. Market share for synthetic grafts is expected to grow significantly in the coming years because they are generally more biocompatible, with lower risk of disease transmission and better patient acceptance.