Blanc Inter II SIMI 9 - Blanc International II - SIMI 9 - Energie, Sciences de l’Ingénierie, Procédés et Matériaux

France-China Consortium for conception, fabrication and testing of new biocompatible implants made of vitrified metals – France-Chine implants vitrifiés in vivo

Submission summary

This proposal brings together two CNRS-university laboratories in France [Science et Ingénierie des Matériaux et Procédés SIMaP, CNRS umr 5266 and the Laboratoire d'Electrochimie et de Physicochimie des Matériaux et des Interfaces LEPMI, CNRS umr 5631 at the Grenoble-Université] and two university laboratories in China [School of Materials Science & Engineering, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Department of Microbiology, Beijing University Health Science Center] in order to advance research and development of non-toxic bio-compatible vitrified metals as new high-end, cost-effective materials for body implants using multidisciplinary state-of-the-art science and technology. Potential future break-through applications are cost-effective, non-toxic new medical implants that reduce the cost of health care and accident care for senior citizens and fracture treatment in younger age groups and children.
In the near future, skeletal injuries and disorders due to the ageing will affect 25% of the aging populations of France (Europe) and China but only limited technological and clinical breakthroughs have been achieved in the past decades in materials development for permanent implants in oral implantology and orthopaedics.
Metals such as titanium alloys are current favorites for orthopaedic or dental implants because their surface properties provide a biocompatible interface. However, their long term clinical performance may be compromised by the different mechanical properties exhibited by titanium when compared to those of bone, creating strong stress shielding effects at the bone–implant interface.
There are three major requirements for optimum medical bone implants:
a) minimum stress-shielding effect due to the mismatch of the Young Moduli between the implant and the bone;
b) biocompatibility and absence of toxic components such as Ni and Cu;
c) adjusted bio-activity and corrosion rates as there is usually a contradiction between anticorrosive properties and acceptable bioactivity of implanted materials.
These requirements form the basis of this France-China consortium’s projected research to develop and test vitrified metal implants as vitrification results in reduced elastic constants.
The proposal attempts the innovative objective to design, fabricate and test vitrified Ti-based alloys with glassy structure with stiffness reduced to values closer to those of the human bone but without using toxic elemental additions.
In general, two extremes of very low and very high bio-activity and corrosion lead respectively to non integration and dissolution of metallic implants. The latter type of implant may actually be desirable for some patients such as young persons with expected rapid bone re-growth and accident victims with no osteoporosis, provided that the implant that dissolves during bone-re-growth is free of any toxic constituent atoms.
This France-China consortium of public laboratories aims at the fabrication and testing in vivo (in laboratory mice/rats), of vitrified Mg-based implants with no toxicity and low stiffness that allow minimum stress-shielding and that ‘bio-corrode’ over bone reconstitution time without hydrogen evolution thus eliminating the need for costly implant removal surgery, or long-term negative effects of permanent implants that cause pain and require further patient care and medical surveillance that are costly to the French and Chinese health systems. The funding of this consortium research will also allow the Chinese side with its unique expertise, to participate in and contribute to related research activities planned at the national level in France and at the European level with European Commission support.

Project coordination

Alain YAVARI (Science et Ingénierie des Matériaux et Procédés SIMaP CNRS umr 5266) –

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


SIMaP Science et Ingénierie des Matériaux et Procédés SIMaP CNRS umr 5266
LEPMI Laboratoire d'Electrochimie et de Physicochimie des Matériaux et des Interfaces LEPMI, CNRS umr 5279
BUAA School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
HSC Department of Microbiology, Peking University Health Science Center, China

Help of the ANR 265,200 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2011 - 36 Months

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