Stainless steel with tailored porosity using canister-free hot isostatic pressing for improved osseointegration implants
Porous biomedical implants hold great potential in preventing stress shielding while improving bone osseointegration and regeneration. In this paper, a novel approach is introduced to control the porosity of 316L stainless steel implants by using canister-free hot isostatic pressing (CF-HIPing). The proposed approach uses cold isostatic pressing (CIPing) to generate powder compacts with various particle sizes, followed by CF-HIPing. 316L stainless steel samples with controlled porosity, and mechanical and biological properties were successfully achieved. The results showed a significant increase in the samples’ porosity with increasing powder size. Porous structures with a strength of 108–360 MPa, Vickers hardness of 25–49 HV and elastic modulus between 17 and 50 GPa were produced using a particle size range of 5–50 μm. The effect of samples with various porosities on the in vitro response of mouse pre-osteoblastic cells in terms of toxicity and proliferation was studied. All samples showed that they had a minimal toxic effect on the osteoblasts. Samples with low porosity, prepared using a particle size of 5 μm, were believed to hinder the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the cells and hence had lower proliferation. In addition, samples prepared using a particle size range of 16–50 μm were associated with an increased proliferation and are therefore expected to improve the rate of bone osseointegration.