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Award for titanium coated BIOLOX®delta ceramic

Stuttgart Surface Technology Award for BIOLOX®

Plochingen, 2014-07-28

Dr. Marita Raschke (center), CeramTec, at the award ceremony.

For the third year in a row, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) awarded its prize for the most innovative surfaces of the last 12 months. The independent, interdisciplinary jury ranked the latest generation of artificial joint-inserts made of titanium coated BIOLOX®delta from CeramTec and Medicoat AG second place in its Stuttgart Surface Technology Award “Die Oberfläche” 2014, making it second only to nanotubes manufactured by Airbus, which significantly reduce ice formation on aircraft surfaces.

CeramTec worked closely with the premier experts in the area of medical coatings, Medicoat AG, to develop directly implantable ceramic acetabular cup inserts featuring a titanium coated surface. This osseointegrative coating promotes cell colonization, inducing bony ingrowth of the hip joint replacement. The coating makes it possible to implant the ceramic component directly into the bone, thereby reducing the wall thickness of the joint replacement compared to conventional, modular systems. Moreover, it takes less bone resectioning to insert the implant.

It was possible to adapt this state-of-the-art coating process to the ceramic without any critical changes to the coating process – enabling a rapid transition to series production. The process is independent from component design, meaning that this coating can also be applied to other types of ceramic implants, such as knee joint replacements. Another key issue for the jury was the technology’s potential to open up new fields of use, like coating ceramics with copper for electronics applications, for example.

What makes the Stuttgart Surface Technology Award so unique is that it is awarded by scientists yet is dedicated to practical applications and open to a variety of disciplines. The panel of experts critically examined 23 applications for their innovative strength, sustainability, enabler qualities and, above all, their industrial feasibility. Members of the jury were faced with a difficult decision due to the high quality of the surface innovation entries that were submitted.