Project title: A new generation of metallic biomaterials as health solution for a sustainable life
Duration of the project: April 2024 – March 2027
Project acronym: Cool&SmarTit
Call: ERA-MIN3 Joint Transnational Call 2023
Funder: European Comision, Horizont 2020
Programme Coordinator: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal
The project “A new generation of metallic biomaterials as health solution for a sustainable life“ aims to obtain a new alloys system containing Titanium, Molibdenum, Niobium and Tin (Ti-Mo-Nb-Sn), with characteristics suitable for medical applications. The new generation of biomaterials will overcome the limitations of the titanium, cobalt and stainless-steel alloys as: high elasticity model and low corrosion resistance and biocompatibility. Hence, to achieve long-term stability and rapid osseointegration in orthopedic implants, surface modification of the implant surface is required. In this sense, the new titanium-based alloys will undergo specific heat treatments to obtain alloys with good mechanical properties intended for orthopedic applications.
Novelty and Innovation of the proposed approach is the development, improvement, characterization and promotion of new Ti-based alloys obtained for different concentrations of non-toxic metals (Mo, Nb, Sn). These alloys will synergistically combine the effects of each element involved in the titanium system. The obtained biomaterials based on the studied compositions are expected to show improved functional characteristics as implant materials for health-related application. While 60% of orthopedic implants have adverse reactions, these materials developed in the project can easily replace existing materials, having mechanical properties close to those of human bone, resistance to corrosion and rapid osseointegration.
Originality of the proposed approach consists in the development and characterization of Ti-based alloys containing unique combination of nontoxic alloying elements that are enhancing the Young modulus (in order to have proprieties closer to the attached/replaced tissue). The newly developed alloys will be thermally treated at different temperature levels in order to obtain optimal characteristics.
The development and characterization of Ti-based alloys containing unique combination of nontoxic alloying elements that are enhancing the Young modulus (in order to have proprieties closer to the attached/replaced tissue). The newly developed alloys will be thermally treated at different temperature levels in order to obtain optimal characteristics.
- Development of new types of Ti-Mo-Nb-Sn alloys with advanced biocompatibility and elasticity modulus similar to that of human bone. To achieve this objective, the following activities are planned: (i) Design of new types of alloys in Ti-Mo-Nb-Sn system (based on preliminary results of the research team – published articles, book chapters, books in progress) (P1), with establishing strict domain of variation for each component – resulting in different compositions of new alloys (P2, P3, P4); (ii) development of alloys using arc melting method, all samples will be produced in a protective atmosphere of argon with the same parameters and in the same form (P1); (iii) preparation of alloys sample for testing at laboratory scale (P2); (iii) preliminary characterization: microstructure analysis optics, scanning electron microscopes (P3, P4).
- Improvements on biomaterials by heat treatments, will be done using a controlled-atmosphere melting furnace, following a personalized heat treatment program for these types of materials: a high-temperature quenching accomplished in three steps (650 °C- maintained for 25 min, 850 °C- maintained for 20 min, and 950 °C -maintained for 20 min) conducted in a vacuum in order to equalize the temperature between the middle and the core of the samples (P1).
- Testing of new materials in order to patent them (material and technology for obtaining) in elaborated cast form and heat treated, achieved through collaboration P1, P2, P3 and P4, according to present infrastructure: (i) Chemical composition (SEM/EDX or ICP-OES – to obtain the data on the chemical composition of the obtained alloys; (ii) Structural characterization (Optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction XRD, SEM) – to obtain data on microstructure, phase composition, crystallographic orientation, texture, etc; (iii) Mechanical characterization (Hardness Tests, Indenting Tests) – highlights the mechanical properties of the elaborated alloys: hardness, elasticity etc.; (iv) Corrosion resistance: Linear and cyclic polarization – determines the stability of the proposed alloys in the human body fluids; (v) Surface characterization (Contact angle (θ)) – involves measuring the contact angle of the alloy surface to achieve / optimize cell adhesion and proliferation; (vi) Biocompatibility tests: is required to assess the in vitro events occurring during cells-materials co-incubation and/or interactions.
- Communication, dissemination, and exploitation of results through: research papers in high ranked journals, publication of book chapters, participation at conferences and invention exhibitions, attracting the interest of implants manufacturing industry to medical devices based on the newly proposed alloy. Regarding the dissemination we have as target: (i) Publication of minimum 5 articles in high ranked journals related to project’s topic; (ii) a book chapter; (iii) a patent application; (v) Organization of a workshop on the theme: new biocompatible alloys from Ti-Mo-Nb-Sn system for implantable medical devices, inviting specialists in manufacturing titanium, implantologists surgeons, members of the Biomaterials Society from Romania and abroad etc.
Expected outcomes consist in the development, improvement, complete characterization and promotion of new titanium alloys containing different concentrations of non-toxic metals (Mo, Nb, Sn). These materials create new market opportunities driven by innovation and functional properties.
The new alloys developed have a significant impact on the body, other materials currently used for implantation could be reevaluated and replaced in future due to the adverse effects they give.
Innovation capacity – Scientists are increasingly realizing the potential of biomaterials to help with many tasks. This project belongs to a key area of biomaterials, being used in tissue engineering and regeneration.
The biomaterials market is competitive and always in need of change for alloys that support a sustainable life Issues related to barrier – We address critical and high-priority challenges (Alzheimer’s disease caused by some alloys), propose evidence-based strategic solutions, and emphasize that the perspectives of affected individuals need to be considered and integrated.