Effects of pore morphology and bone ingrowth on mechanical properties of microporous titanium as an orthopaedic implant material

Huanlong Li, Scott M. Oppenheimer, Samuel I. Stupp, David C. Dunand, L. Catherine Brinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Successful bone formation which leads to functional osseointegration is determined by the local mechanical environment around bone-interfacing implants. In this work, a novel porous titanium material is developed and tested and then impact of porosity on mechanical properties as a function of bone ingrowth is studied numerically. A superplastic foaming technique is used to produce CP-Ti material with rounded, interconnected pores of 50% porosity; the pore size and morphology is particularly suitable for bone ingrowth. In order to understand the structure-property relations for this new material, a numerical simulation is performed to study the effect of the porous microstructure and bone ingrowth on the mechanical properties. Using ABAQUS, we create two-dimensional representative microstructures for fully porous samples, as well as samples with partial and full bone ingrowth. We then use the finite element method to predict the macroscopic mechanical properties of the foam, e.g., overall Young's modulus and yield stress, as well as the local stress and strain pattern of both the titanium foam and bone inclusions. The strain-stress curve, stress concentrations and stress shielding caused by the bone-implant modulus mismatch are examined for different microstructures in both elastic and plastic region. The results are compared with experimental data from the porous titanium samples. Based on the finite element predictions, bone ingrowth is predicted to dramatically reduce stress concentrations around the pores. It is shown that the morphology of the implants will influence both macroscopic properties (such as modulus) and localized behavior (such as stress concentrations). Therefore, these studies provide a methodology for the optimal design of porous titanium as an implant material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1124-1131
Number of pages8
JournalMaterials Transactions
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


  • Bone implant
  • Bone ingrowth
  • Finite element analysis
  • Mechanical properties
  • Morphology
  • Porous titanium
  • Stress shielding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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