Evonik, a German speciality chemicals company, is conducting research on new biodegradable 3D printing materials which could be used in the fixation of fractured bones. The composite materials could eventually replace the metals traditionally used to fabricate implants.
Implants, which help to support broken bones as they heal, have traditionally been made from metals. While this makes the implants strong and resilient, it also means that they have to stay in a body for the rest of a patient’s life unless removed via surgery. While there are advantages to metal implants, medical researchers are constantly looking for more suitable materials which can be more easily absorbed by the body. Evonik, a German chemical specialist which last week announced details of its 3D printing materials partnership with HP, is a company on the lookout for such materials, and is currently conducting research on new composite materials from which next-generation 3D printed implants can be fabricated.