Biomechanics and implant design

The research field of biomechanics and implant design covers the development, design and manufacturing of implants. In particular, cardiovascular implants as well as implants for ophthalmology, otolaryngology and other application fields are addressed.

The basis is the characterization of implant materials, in particular polymer materials, whereby static and dynamic mechanical investigations (e.g. dynamic mechanical analyses, fatigue strength investigations and dynamic degradation), thermal analyses (e.g. by means of DSC and TGA) as well as investigations of the microstructure (e.g. scanning electron microscopy, micro-CT, confocal laser scanning microscopy, materialographic section preparations) are part of the range of applied methods. Particulate coating components are characterized using the method of Dynamic Image Analysis (DIA).

In addition, mechanical investigations of biological tissue serve as a basis for biomimetic development approaches and the developed implant designs.

Furthermore, biodegradable and permanent implant semi-finished products, prototypes and coatings are manufactured and a variety of process technologies are developed and tested. Examples include electrospinning and electrospraying, extrusion, solution dipping processes, CNC manufacturing, laser cutting, 3D printing and airbrush technology.

Another focus is the development of powerful testing methods and test setups for biomechanical characterization of new implant systems and prototypes, taking into account physiological media and loads. For this purpose, several EU funded special test systems are available (Test instrument for in vitro testing of heart valve materials, Pulse duplicator system / Heart valve durability tester, Heart valve fatigue testing device, Radial force measuring device).

In addition to experimental investigations, numerical methods, in particular the finite element method for structural-mechanical and biomechanical analysis, are also used as part of the development of material-specific designs of new implants. These simulations enable evaluation and optimization of the mechanical properties during development.