Hierarchically structured titanium foams for tissue scaffold applications

R. Singh, P.D. Lee, J.R. Jones, G. Poologasundarampillai, T. Post, T.C. Lindley, R.J. Dashwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


We present a novel route for producing a new class of titanium foams for use in biomedical implant applications. These foams are hierarchically porous, with both the traditional large (>300 μm) highly interconnected pores and, uniquely, wall struts also containing micron scale (0.5–5 μm) interconnected porosities. The fabrication method consists of first producing a porous oxide precursor via a gel casting method, followed by electrochemical reduction to produce a metallic foam. This method offers the unique ability to tailor the porosity at several scales independently, unlike traditional space-holder techniques. Reducing the pressure during foam setting increased the macro-pore size. The intra-strut pore size (and percentage) can be controlled independently of macro-pore size by altering the ceramic loading and sintering temperature during precursor production. Typical properties for an 80% porous Ti foam were a modulus of ∼1 GPa, a yield strength of 8 MPa and a permeability of 350 Darcies, all of which are in the range required for biomedical implant applications. We also demonstrate that the micron scale intra-strut porosities can be exploited to allow infiltration of bioactive materials using a novel bioactive silica–polymer composite, resulting in a metal–bioactive silica–polymer composite.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4596-4604
Number of pages9
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number12
Early online date30 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Hierarchical titanium foams
  • Biomedical implants
  • Molten salt electrolysis
  • X-ray microtomography
  • Spinal fusion


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