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International Journal of Biomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 245727, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/245727
Research Article

Next Generation Orthopaedic Implants by Additive Manufacturing Using Electron Beam Melting

1Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
2W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA

Received 22 March 2012; Accepted 29 June 2012

Academic Editor: Mohamed Rahaman

Copyright © 2012 Lawrence E. Murr et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper presents some examples of knee and hip implant components containing porous structures and fabricated in monolithic forms utilizing electron beam melting (EBM). In addition, utilizing stiffness or relative stiffness versus relative density design plots for open-cellular structures (mesh and foam components) of Ti-6Al-4V and Co-29Cr-6Mo alloy fabricated by EBM, it is demonstrated that stiffness-compatible implants can be fabricated for optimal stress shielding for bone regimes as well as bone cell ingrowth. Implications for the fabrication of patient-specific, monolithic, multifunctional orthopaedic implants using EBM are described along with microstructures and mechanical properties characteristic of both Ti-6Al-4V and Co-29Cr-6Mo alloy prototypes, including both solid and open-cellular prototypes manufactured by additive manufacturing (AM) using EBM.