Towards deployable meta-implants
Meta-biomaterials exhibit unprecedented or rare combinations of properties not usually found in nature. Such unusual mechanical, mass transport, and biological properties could be used to develop novel categories of orthopedic implants with superior performance, otherwise known as meta-implants. Here, we use bi-stable elements working on the basis of snap-through instability to design deployable meta-implants. Deployable meta-implants are compact in their retracted state, allowing them to be brought to the surgical site with minimum invasiveness. Once in place, they are deployed to take their full-size load-bearing shape. We designed five types of meta-implants by arranging bi-stable elements in such a way to obtain a radially-deployable structure, three types of auxetic structures, and an axially-deployable structure. The intermediate stable conditions (i.e. multi-stability features), deployment force, and stiffness of the meta-implants were found to be strongly dependent on the geometrical parameters of the bi-stable elements as well as on their arrangement.
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