A comprehensive review on metallic implant biomaterials and their subtractive manufacturing

Davis, Rahul, Singh, Abhishek, Jackson, Mark James, Coelho, Reginaldo Teixeira, Prakash, Divya, Charalambous, Charalambos Panayiotou, Ahmed, Waqar, da Silva, Leonardo Rosa Ribeiro and Lawrence, Abner Ankit (2022) A comprehensive review on metallic implant biomaterials and their subtractive manufacturing. The International journal, advanced manufacturing technology . ISSN 0268-3768

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-022-08770-8


There is a tremendous increase in the demand for converting biomaterials into high-quality industrially manufactured human body parts, also known as medical implants. Drug delivery systems, bone plates, screws, cranial, and dental devices are the popular examples of these implants - the potential alternatives for human life survival. However, the processing techniques of an engineered implant largely determine its preciseness, surface characteristics, and interactive ability with the adjacent tissue(s) in a particular biological environment. Moreover, the high cost-effective manufacturing of an implant under tight tolerances remains a challenge. In this regard, several subtractive or additive manufacturing techniques are employed to manufacture patient-specific implants, depending primarily on the required biocompatibility, bioactivity, surface integrity, and fatigue strength. The present paper reviews numerous non-degradable and degradable metallic implant biomaterials such as stainless steel (SS), titanium (Ti)-based, cobalt (Co)-based, nickel-titanium (NiTi), and magnesium (Mg)-based alloys, followed by their processing via traditional turning, drilling, and milling including the high-speed multi-axis CNC machining, and non-traditional  abrasive water jet machining (AWJM), laser beam machining (LBM), ultrasonic machining (USM), and electric discharge machining (EDM) types of subtractive manufacturing techniques. However, the review further funnels down its primary focus on Mg, NiTi, and Ti-based alloys on the basis of the increasing trend of their implant applications in the last decade due to some of their outstanding properties. In the recent years, the incorporation of cryogenic coolant-assisted traditional subtraction of biomaterials has gained researchers' attention due to its sustainability, environment-friendly nature, performance, and superior biocompatible and functional outcomes fitting for medical applications. However, some of the latest studies reported that the medical implant manufacturing requirements could be more remarkably met using the non-traditional subtractive manufacturing approaches. Altogether, cryogenic  machining among the traditional routes and EDM among the non-traditional means along with their variants, were identified as some of the most effective subtractive manufacturing techniques for achieving the dimensionally accurate and biocompatible metallic medical implants with significantly modified surfaces. [Abstract copyright: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2022.]

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