Materials Science

Innovnano and Universidade NOVA de Lisboa collaborate on the development of synthetic bone material

Innovnano, an expert manufacturer of structural zirconia ceramics, has entered into an R&D project with Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (FCT-NOVA) to produce zirconia-based ceramic orthopaedic implants by 3D printing. Funded by Portugal 2020 (PT2020), the project will combine Innovnano’s uniquely manufactured nanostructured zirconia powders with FCT NOVA’s 3D printing technology. The goal is to develop a 3D printing process that is low cost, simple to implement at a large scale, and able to produce synthetic bone material that is biocompatible, stable and with mechanical properties close to those of different types of actual bone tissue.

Additive manufacturing (AM) by 3D printing has generated great interest over the last few years due the fact that it uses only the materials needed, with less waste. Complex parts can be produced faster and cheaper than before, so it has massive potential in almost every industrial sector. The new project will involve several different areas of research. With extensive experience in the production of nanostructured zirconia powders using its unique Emulsion Detonation synthesis (EDS) process, Innovnano will focus on the synthesis of new zirconia-based composite materials. The company will work with the team at FCT NOVA, one of Portugal’s most prestigious universities, to optimize the particle shape to produce the best compromise between porosity and mechanical resistance, and also on in vitro and in vivo studies to determine biocompatibility.