Rationally designed meta-implants: a combination of auxetic and conventional meta-biomaterials†
Rationally designed meta-biomaterials present unprecedented combinations of mechanical, mass transport, and biological properties favorable for tissue regeneration. Here we introduce hybrid meta-biomaterials with rationally-distributed values of negative (auxetic) and positive Poisson's ratios, and use them to design meta-implants that unlike conventional implants do not retract from the bone under biomechanical loading. We rationally design and additively manufacture six different types of meta-biomaterials (three auxetic and three conventional), which then serve as the parent materials to six hybrid meta-biomaterials (with or without transitional regions). Both single and hybrid meta-biomaterials are mechanically tested to reveal their full-field strain distribution by digital image correlation. The best-performing hybrid meta-biomaterials are then selected for the design of meta-implants (hip stems), which are tested under simulated-implantation conditions. Full-field strain measurements clearly show that, under biomechanical loading, hybrid meta-implants press onto the bone on both the medial and lateral sides, thereby improving implant–bone contact and potentially implant longevity.