Graphene Shows Potential as Bone Implant Material

Research suggests that flakes of graphene welded together into solid materials may have potential for use as bone implants.

The team of researchers behind the discovery used spark plasma sintering to weld flakes of graphene oxide into porous solids that compare favorably with the mechanical properties and biocompatibility of titanium, a standard bone-replacement material.

It is hoped that the technique will allow for the creating of highly complex shapes in graphene in minutes from graphite molds.

In addition to the fact that graphene is generally biocompatible, the scientists also honed in on the material for bio applications because of its mechanical properties, density, and porosity.

The technique of spark plasma sintering was selected partly because it requires only high voltage, and not high pressure or temperatures. By using this technique, the researchers were able to make a material that is about 50% porous and with a density half that of graphite and a quarter of titanium metal. The resulting material also had sufficient compressive strength to make it suitable for bone implants.

You can read more about these researchers’ work in this news release and in their published paper found in Advanced Materials.