Metal-based Orthopedic Implants
Mobility is one of the basic needs in human life. The musculoskeletal system of the human body plays an essential part in it. Any damage to our musculoskeletal system due to various undesired circumstances, such as bone-related diseases (osteoarthritis) and trauma cases (road accidents, sport-related injuries), hampers our everyday life. The accidents can be prevented, but growing old cannot. The treatment of most of these conditions requires orthopaedic surgery, such as bone fracture fixation and joint replacements. The surgeries need devices to replace missing joints or bones or to provide support to the damaged bone. These devices are known as orthopaedic implants, and they need to perform the required function without causing any harm to the human body. As they remain inside our body, biocompatibility is their inherent requirement; hence they are also known as biomaterials. Other requirements include chemical inertness, good mechanical strength, longer fatigue life, inexpensive etc. With various material properties, the design of the implant also plays a vital role in implant biomechanics and the response of the adjacent bone tissues. The changing dynamic loads while walking (or other activities) needs to be accounted for it.
The need for an ideal biomaterial or perfect implant design has not been met, and the researchers are still searching for better materials and implant designs in orthopaedics. For some implants, good longevity is their primary requirement (orthopaedic prosthesis). In contrast, non-permanent supporting implants need to be resorbed inside the human body by dissolving into non-toxic byproducts. The research field is the intersection of various disciplines, and our research focuses on their mechanical and material related aspects. We are currently working on developing metal-based alloys/composites having bioactive behaviour and desired mechanical properties to perform the needed function. The biomechanical factors are also being investigated by evaluating the implant designs for different orthopaedic applications. The in-vitro tests for evaluating the biological response of the developed materials are also done.