Researchers get patents to improve knee, hip replacements

WSU researcher Susmita Bose, in foreground, works with student Sahar Vahabzadeh at a 3-D ceramic printer. (WSU photo)

By Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture

PULLMAN, Wash. – For almost two decades, Washington State University researchers Amit Bandyopadhyay and Susmita Bose have worked to improve the materials used in hip and knee replacements that up to a million people in the U.S. receive each year.

In the 1990s, the research team was studying rapid prototyping, also called 3-D printing, before most of us even knew what it was. A decade later, they started working with powders at the nanoscale and printing out customized hip bones from computerized images in their laboratory.

“The first 10 years were spent converting the nonbelievers to believers,” said Bandyopadhyay. “Then we worked to convince industry it can be successful. Now people realize it’s real.”

In the past two years, the researchers have received six patents on technology that could improve recovery time and outcomes for the common surgical procedures. Their ideas include porous metal or biomaterial-based implants, new drug delivery systems and infection control using silver.

Read all of this article in the Spokane Journal of Business at