Institute of Materials Research

Metallic Biomaterials

The “Metallic Biomaterials” division under the direction of Prof. Dr. Willumeit-Römer examines and develops new implant materials based on titanium and magnesium.

Magnesium provides optimal properties for use as an absorbable implant material in medical applications such as orthopaedics, traumatology and paediatrics.

Magnesium possesses characteristics similar to bone, is an essential element required by the human body and likely stimulates new bone formation. In order to establish magnesium as a marketable implant material, an array of factors must be examined: the properties of the base material must be considered among other factors in regards to the mechanical characteristics and degradation behaviour. It is equally important to understand what impact the material exerts on the cells that grow on its surface and ultimately on the organism. Furthermore, researchers must ensure that the steps in processing, from the base material to implant prototypes, do not cause significant property alterations.

The Magnesium Innovation Center (MagIC) supplies the base material: the magnesium alloy. The “Metallic Biomaterials” division examines factors that lead to magnesium degradation under physiological conditions. The scientists also test magnesium alloy properties in the cell culture. In cooperation with MagIC, the processing of the material is optimised.