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Home Industry News Graphene-based structures ‘could aid production of bone implants’

Graphene-based structures ‘could aid production of bone implants’

5th September 2016

Advanced new bone implants could be created through the use of three-dimensional graphene structures, new research has shown.

Researchers from Rice University have identified a method of using spark plasma sintering to weld flakes of graphene oxide into porous solids with similar mechanical properties and biocompatibility to titanium, a frequently-used bone replacement material.

The material is nearly 50 percent porous, with half the density of graphite and one-quarter that of titanium, but with enough compressive strength to be suitable for bone implants. Moreover, the strength of the bonds between sheets keeps it from disintegrating in water.

This method could potentially allow scientists to create highly complex shapes out of graphene using graphite molds in only a few minutes, with this approach potentially offering greater ease of processing than specialty metals.

Co-lead author of the paper Chandra Sekhar Tiwary, a postdoctoral research associate at Rice University, said: "We started thinking about this for bone implants because graphene is one of the most intriguing materials with many possibilities and it's generally biocompatible."

This expands the known applications of graphene, the world's first 2D material, which is 200 times stronger than steel, highly conductive and ultra-thin.

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