Because of its lightweight, high-stiffness and bio-compatibility, fiber-reinforced polymer composites (FRPs) are adapted for a wide range of applications within the medical sector. The use of composite materials for biomedical applications offers many new options and possibilities depending on their performance and usage area.
Composites have a long range of application which is rapidly increasing on medical industry such as orthopaedic applications, external prosthetics applications, applications in dentistry, cardiovascular applications, oral and maxillofacial surgery and tissue engineering.
It is used extensively to make high-strength lightweight composites in prosthetic structural components, where the fatigue resistance of carbon-fiber composites is also an advantage. They also add electrical conductivity to a composite, which can have corrosive effects next to metallic implants.
Developments of biomedical composites have been based on the construction of dental and orthopaedic implants which are most known in dentistry applications. Since their advantages over ceramics and metal alloys; they offer sufficient strength with low elastic modulus, similar to that of natural teeth. Moreover, they have far superior fatigue properties.
Owing to the fatigue properties and strength, carbon fiber more likely preferred in orthopaedic applications such as bone fixation plates, hip joint replacement, bone cement, and bone grafts. The requirements of low weight, durability, size reduction, safety, and energy conservation have made fiber-reinforced plastics very attractive in this area. For transtibial (TT) and transfemoral (TF) prostheses, composites have been used for the socketframe component that interfaces with the residual limb and transmits the load and for the shank component that supports the load over the ground. TT and TF prostheses have a target weight limit of 1 and 2 kg, respectively, which makes carbon-fiber-reinforced (CFR) composites ideal.
Main advantages of composites on medical applications;
- High Fatigue Behaviour
- High Stiffness
- Corrosion Resistance
- X-ray transparency
Main Usage Area:
- Composite Bolts to support bones
- Dental prostheses, implants
- Hip Prosthesis
- Bone Cement
- Bone graft
- Bone fracture internal fixation devices