Proposal name:

REAFFIRM – REsorbAble Fillers and FIbeRs for biocoMposite (PS ID: PS-SME-IT-1706)


The aim of the project is to design and engineer composite calcium phosphate cements and resorbable composite bone fixation devices using resorbable phosphate glass powders and fibres as reinforcing phase and to move these high performance biomaterials toward the market. At the end of the project the development phase will be completed and the materials should be ready to start their clinical validation and the procedure towards the CE certification


Proposal Outline:


Calcium phosphate cements can be processed at ambient temperature and harden in vivo through a low-temperature setting reaction and their composition is very similar to the mineral phase of the bone. However, their low mechanical properties restrict their use to non-load bearing or pure compression applications. Bone fracture fixation devices based on degradable polymers (e.g polylactic acid, polyglicolic acid) avoid a second operation to remove the metallic implants and strongly limit stress shielding. Unfortunately polymers due to their low stiffness and poor mechanical properties their use is limited to non-load bearing applications. In this project we want to extend the application field of calcium phosphate cements and polymeric fracture fixation devices by increasing their mechanical performance and their biological behaviour through the introduction of resorbable phosphate glass in the form of powder or fibres. Compared to resorbable polymeric fillers, phosphate glasses will offer higher mechanical properties. Besides, being completely resorbable in aqueous media with tunable kinetics, they are unique candidates not only for the reinforcement of materials for load bearing applications but also for the realization of completely resorbable materials and implants. Phosphate glass fibers are emergent materials for enhancing mechanical properties and for guiding the resorption/regeneration process of biomedical devices. The mechanical properties and resorption feature can be engineered acting on the glass composition, the glass particle and fibre dimension and the glass volume fraction in the composite. For the fibre-reinforced composite, different type and disposition of the fibres can be proposed (short or continuous fibres, random or oriented fibres, mesh) to match the desired properties. The fibres will be also processed into textiles, which will be used for the composite reinforcement and for other applications arising during the project development.



Already existing consortium:


- RTD-Italy – Politecnico di Torino, Applied Science and Technology Department. Coordinator: Resorbable glass fibers production and characterization,

- RTD – UK – Micro – CT analysis University of Nottingham (UK): preparation of the glass fibers reinforced composites, preparation of fibers mats, characterization

To be confirmed but already in contact:

-SME-UK: glass production at the pre-industrial level, scale-up of the fiber production.

-SME-Italy: textiles expertise in other application field to be widened into the biomedical one.

Mª Dolores Guillén
Tel.+34 955 00 74 78