Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Biomedical shape memory alloys

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.10.02  Engineering sciences and technologies  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Manufacturing technology 

Code Science Field
T000  Technological sciences   

Code Science Field
2.03  Engineering and Technology  Mechanical engineering 
production, biomedical alloys, shape memory efekt, characterisation, properties
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (27)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  10369  PhD Ivan Anžel  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  715 
2.  14042  Uroš Bavdek  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016 
3.  03975  PhD Igor Belič  Computer intensive methods and applications  Researcher  2013 - 2016  274 
4.  06073  PhD Milan Bizjak  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  464 
5.  20229  PhD Mihael Brunčko  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  260 
6.  19165  PhD Marjetka Conradi  Physics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  158 
7.  21559  PhD Darja Feizpour  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  174 
8.  10842  PhD Matjaž Godec  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2015 - 2016  883 
9.  16185  PhD Leo Gusel  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2013 - 2016  154 
10.  05675  PhD Monika Jenko  Neurobiology  Researcher  2013 - 2014  842 
11.  24489  PhD Blaž Karpe  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  218 
12.  20999  Brigita Kirar Meža  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  35 
13.  18475  PhD Aleksandra Kocijan  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2015 - 2016  255 
14.  22454  PhD Tadej Kokalj  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2013 - 2016  76 
15.  11624  PhD Borut Kosec  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  976 
16.  31680  Bojan Melik    Technical associate  2013 - 2016 
17.  24381  PhD Aleš Nagode  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  403 
18.  14498  Mojmir Poharc  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  66 
19.  34919  Ida Rajić Kranjac    Technical associate  2013 - 2015 
20.  14335  PhD Rebeka Rudolf  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Head  2013 - 2016  1,096 
21.  11922  PhD Mitja Slavinec  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016  1,189 
22.  24490  Silvester Suban    Technical associate  2013 - 2016 
23.  23592  PhD Milan Svetec  Physics  Researcher  2013 - 2015  101 
24.  26192  PhD Irena Škulj  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  47 
25.  34291  Vesna Štager  Economics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  62 
26.  17123  Rok Šulek    Technical associate  2013 - 2016  79 
27.  20235  PhD Primož Ternik  Process engineering  Researcher  2013 - 2016  74 
Organisations (6)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0206  Institute of Metals and Technology  Ljubljana  5051622000  5,977 
2.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  23,905 
3.  0805  MAGNETI LJUBLJANA, Podjetje za proizvodnjo magnetnih materialov, d.d. (Slovene)  Ljubljana  5045789000  312 
4.  1555  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engeneering  Ljubljana  1627074  19,839 
5.  1716  ZLATARNA CELJE company for production and trade with precious metals d.d.  Celje  5048192  1,112 
6.  2946  Scientific Union of Pomurje region  Murska Sobota  1394096000  1,189 
This project will focus on the development and production of new Biomedical Shape Memory Alloys (BIO-SMA) with improved resistance to corrosion, biocompatibility, fatigue resistance, and kink resistance, with two unique thermo-mechanical behaviours: the shape memory effect and the pseudoelastic effect. These new BIO-SMA alloys (Ni-Ti or Cu-Al-Ni) will be produced by two production techniques, which are continuous casting and melt spinning. The first technique is a common approach, while melt spinning is rather new, offering important advantages (microstructure, functional properties, and biocompatibility) over continuous casting. For the first time the final BIO-SMA products (castings, melt spun ribbons) will be treated with the low-pressure vacuum carburizing process for the improvement of their wear resistance. The low-pressure vacuum carburizing consists of the cycles of active (saturation) and passive (diffusion) stages. The desired depth of the carburized zone and corresponding target concentration profile of carbon can be supervised by controlling the duration of these two stages. A numerical analysis of both, melt spinning and continuous casting technology, will be performed by the well-known Finite Volume Method by using the sets of fundamental equations, including the conservation of mass, momentum, energy and the constitutive equation over the cross section. The numerical study will yield the fundamental understanding of the nonlinear dynamics, thus offering the optimal control problem of both production technologies used in the present project. The biocompatibility studies will include at first classical assays recommended by ISO standards for testing medical and dental devices (cytotoxicity, implant tests, irritation and sensibilization tests). In addition, a number of immunologically relevant in vitro tests which could predict the immune response to the BIO-SMA alloys in vivo, including lymphocyte proliferation assays, production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines by macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs), as well as the assays evaluating polarization of the immune response, will be performed. Finally, the surface modification of the alloys with the components of extracellular matrix and biomolecules will be performed, aiming to control the immune response, and to increase the tissue reparation process. As a direct result of our work we expect deep understanding of how the chemical composition and the purity of the alloys, the production technology and parameters of heat- and mechanical treatments influence the microstructure, mechanical and physical properties, biocompatibility in vitro and in vivo, geometry and functionality of the BIO-SMA materials. Only highly biocompatible materials must fulfil the criteria to be used as implants for different purposes. In this context, the surface modification of BIO-SMA alloys, especially those based on Ni-Ti, have been extensively investigated during the last decade with the aim to improve their biocompatibility. The objective of this project is to inform on the recent achievements and future prospects of all aspects of biomedical shape memory alloys, covering the range from fundamentals to applications. The final objective of this project is the development of the optimal production technology (in the Magneti and Zlatarna Celje companies) and transfer of the know-how onto an industrial scale. The partners of a present project have come together in a national as well as international manner to form a network of an integrated and committed team to provide the best possible combination of scientific and technological skills to execute our work programme and SME capacities to exploit results thereafter.
Significance for science
The expected outcome of the proposed research work is achieving the laboratory production of biocompatible memory alloys in the form of rods or strips with completely new manufacturing processes: Continuous casting and melt casting onto a rotating drum, according to policies for environmentally acceptable technologies. The planned project gives realistic options for achieving original results, since the interdisciplinary know-how combination in the field of technologies, continuous casting/characterization/numerical methods/biocompatibility testing, is not known. All these factors give the project a high industrial and scientific potential. The Project Leader and associates have published numerous scientific articles on the topic of production technologies (manufacturing technology), characterization and biomaterials, based on research carried out in the framework of the Project L2-5486, which has raised their visibility and citations, not only in Slovenia, but also abroad. The Project Leader was a mentor to 3 Doctoral students of the research projects issues, which can undoubtedly be considered an exceptional socially/economically relevant achievement, related directly to the content of the proposed project. The direct scientific results of the experimental work, which influence increasing the level of understanding materials in the relation of production-characteristics-use, mean a conquered understanding of the influence of chemical composition, alloy purity, manufacturing technologies, new finishing processes, thermo-mechanical treatment parameters on the resulting microstructure, mechanical and physical properties, corrosion resistance, biocompatibility in vitro and in vivo, geometry on material functionality. Only such an understanding can define what are highly biocompatible materials, which must meet strict criteria for use in biomedicine. In this context, the modification of the BIO-SMA alloys` surface, particularly those based on Ni-Ti, presents a subject that has been studied extensively in recent years in order to improve their biocompatibility. The work methods of the project consisted of research and knowledge management, which was aimed at building a base of different skills. This is primarily know-how, based on familiarity with the production technologies of biomaterials and related technological parameters, depending on the specific requirements and environmental impacts. The results of the project and scientific achievements now offer realistic options for new original results, as special knowledge in the fields of Manufacturing Technologies and Materials` Biocompatibility research is not known. On the other hand, this is a very interesting and fast developing field, which drives many companies worldwide to restructure and, additionally, train development staff. Intelligent advisory systems, therefore, have great potential and a high level of relevancy, as they are able to provide support in terms of skilled advice, suggestions and solutions for key decisions in the process of developing new biomaterials. This represents a major challenge for a scientific breakthrough in this field. We managed to realize a part of this breakthrough in this project. One of the innovations developed in the final phase of the project relates to biocompatibility testing and immunomodulatory properties of BIO-SMA alloys produced with new technologies. These tests included the proliferation of lymphocyte cultures, production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines with macrophages and other dendritic cells, which are measured as the polarization of the immune response on appropriate cultures. These fundamental findings explain not only why certain therapies are not successful, but how they can also be improved.
Significance for the country
Within the project, we have identified the latest research methods and achievements in the fields of manufacturing technologies of biomaterials with shape memory and their characterization, and presented the prospect of their use in the future. We then began to transfer that knowledge to the industrial level, which is essential for the Slovenian economy and for the release of biomaterial products with a high added value on the global market. The industrial partners Zlatarna Celje and Magneti Ljubljana have enhanced their "innovation capacity" as part of the project, which is extremely important for the recognition of Slovenian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Their strategy is now based on the development of new technologies and products. The results of the excellent cooperation are also evident in two facts: 1.) Magneti Ljubljana d.d. was selected as one of the most successful companies (GZS Award) in 2016, which is also a result of this project. 2.) Zlatarna Celje increased its realization and net profit after taxes, based on the project`s results. Dr. Peter Majerič was employed at the company, staring on 01.01.2017 - this enabled the transition of a young PhD into industry. The partners of Project L2-5486, collaborating on a national, as well as an international level, have been a part of an integrated and committed consortium, which provided the best combination of scientific and technological knowledge for carrying out the project, as well as the capability to exploit the projects results in the industry. The proposed project brought together researchers in European countries (Slovenia, Germany, Austria) and the Balkans (Serbia, Croatia). This also means an increased visibility of the Slovenian research community. Special significance can be attributed to the numerical simulations of the continuous casting incorporating solidification of a NiTi alloy, giving the possibility to analyze the heat transfer in different areas of the mold, to determine the fluid velocity field and predict solidification of the alloy. Consequently, we can conclude that the methods developed in this project represent a newly developed, very effective tool, which offers a faster and more efficient planning of processes and equipment, leading to improved engineering processes and products in the Slovenian industrial environment.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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