Feasibility study of SiC-ceramics as a potential material for bone implants


In this paper, we discuss silicon carbide (SiC) ceramics as potential materials for biomedical applications. SiC samples were prepared without addition of undesired elements that might have adverse health effect and were characterized with respect to mechanical and magnetic properties, bioactivity, wetting behavior, and release of ions. The materials characteristics are compared to those for Ti6Al4V alloy. Among the examined ceramics, SiC with MgO as sintering aid met the expectation to the greatest extent. Elastic modulus of the material with 24 % porosity is 80 GPa, flexural strength 180 MPa, and fracture toughness ~3 MPa m1/2. The material shows good wetting properties and is weakly diamagnetic. On the other hand, bioactivity estimated on the basis of hydroxyapatite formation in simulated body fluid is only achieved by surface modification. Thus, although SiC ceramics show potential for use in biomedical applications, it should be further developed to meet the requirements.

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This study has been performed within the National program P2-0084 and the PhD. study of Ms. Katja Rade. Slovenian Research Agency is acknowledged for financial support. Mr. Darko Eterovič is acknowledged for mechanical testing, Dr. Benjamin Podmiljšak for magnetic susceptibility measurements and Ms. Ana Gantar for help in leaching tests.

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Correspondence to Saša Novak.

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Rade, K., Martinčič, A., Novak, S. et al. Feasibility study of SiC-ceramics as a potential material for bone implants. J Mater Sci 48, 5295–5301 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-013-7321-x

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  • Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry
  • Flexural Strength
  • Simulated Body Fluid
  • Bioactive Glass
  • Physiological Solution