Cytocompatibility of high strength non-oxide ceramics

  • Benjamin Cappi, Sabine Neuss, Jochen Salber, Rainer Telle, Ruth Knüchel, Horst Fischer
  • Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, January 2009, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.32527

High strength non-oxide ceramics to prepare thin-walled resurfacing hip endo-prostheses

What is it about?

Oxide ceramic materials like alumina oxide and zirconia oxide are frequently used for medical applications like implants and prostheses because of their excellent biocompatibility and high wear resistance. Unfortunately, oxide ceramics cannot be used for minimal invasive thin-walled implants like resurfacing hip endo-prostheses because of their limited strength.

Why is it important?

Our findings show that high strength non-oxide ceramic materials like silicon nitride and carbide are promising material alternatives for orthopaedic implant components.


Dr Jochen Salber
Ruhr-Universitat Bochum

Non-oxide ceramic materials Si3N4 and SiC, either produced via unpressurized sintering or hot-pressing, are cytocompatible for human mesenchymal stem cells, and allow for osteogenic differentiation. Moreover, Si3N4 and SiC exhibit higher strength and higher reliability than the clinically well-accepted oxide ceramics alumina and zirconia. Therefore, these non-oxide ceramics can now be considered for implant components of minimal invasive clinical applications like resurfacing hip prostheses and for tissue engineering concepts.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Jochen Salber