Eliminating complications with fully porous hip implant

Spring 2016
k-Pasini HR

Professor Damiano Pasini (centre) with master’s student Burnett Robert Johnson (left), post-doctoral fellow Sajad Arabnejad, and the Pasini lab’s AM-produced hip replacement implant. (Photo: Owen Egan)

Existing hip replacement procedures often require follow-up surgery that can increase the risk of complications. The challenge for the medical community is that current hip implants are incapable of preventing long-term stress-related bone loss, which creates the difficulties with follow-up surgery.

The stress is the result of a difference in stiffness between fully solid metallic hip stems and the natural host bone in which they are implanted.

A novel implant developed at our Faculty uses a fully porous structural biomaterial that avoids bone resorption by seamlessly matching the properties of the local host bone tissue. The new design can be adopted with no modifications to existing surgical technique and hospital infrastructure.

The research is led by Professor Damiano Pasini, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, whose team won a 2014-2015 William and Rhea Seath Innovation Award for their implant design. The Seath  prize is being used to cover some of the costs of animal studies on the implant—the last step in the product’s commercialization.

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