Additive Manufacturing and Surface Modification of Biomaterials using Self-assembled Monolayers
Biomedical implants play a significant role in improving quality of life; however, post-implant complications are still a major problem. It is envisaged that customised implant designs, due to their superior fit compared to traditional designs, can reduce post-implant complications by preventing implant migration. In addition, by modifying the surface chemistry of the implant with drug/protein molecules specific to the target site, biochemical interactions at the implant–host interface can be optimised and post-implant complications can be reduced. Selective laser melting (SLM), a metal-based additive manufacturing technique, has the potential to fabricate customised and complex structures directly from three dimensional model data. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), a form of nano-coating, have the ability to modify the surface chemistry of an implant precisely and specifically. By integrating these two technologies, this chapter discusses a novel approach to fabricate customised and functionalised biomedical implants.