CONTACT | Industrial R&D Project

The CONTACT project aims to increase knowledge and innovation for the development of prosthetic implants, with a view to reducing time and costs in the production of the implant. The aim is to reduce the duration of surgery, improve post-operative care, and reduce the risk of multiple surgeries due to failures or infections.

Project activities are focused on identifying the optimal combination of material, fabrication technology and surface modification to create patient-specific devices characterized by a reduced risk of post-operative complications. In particular, the devices will ideally:

  • be customized on the individual patient;
  • possess antibacterial or antibacterial proliferation capabilities;
  • accelerate osseointegration; and
  • be reabsorbable in a controlled manner when put in contact with the organic environment.

Flexible manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing (AM) and superplastic forming (SPF) will ensure a high level of geometric complexity of the prosthesis, while the single-point incremental forming (SPIF) technique will be studied for comparison purposes. Titanium alloys (Ti), Magnesium alloys (Mg), and Chromium-Cobalt alloys (Cr-Co) will be taken into consideration for the fabrication.

Osseointegration will be achieved and improved through different approaches:

  • controlled modification of the surface roughness;
  • chemical-physical modification through electrochemical treatments (Anodic Spark Deposition);
  • sol-gel coatings; and
  • calcium phosphate (CaP) coatings

The modified surfaces will be characterized from a chemical, mechanical and physical point of view and the results will represent the basis for the study of the interaction of the implant with tissues, and of cell adhesion. The developed and treated materials will be tested and characterized through in-vivo and in-vitro tests to evaluate their cytocompatibility, genotoxicity and immunotoxicity.

Additional Information

Project financed by the National Operational Program Ricerca e Innovazione 2014-2020 and by Fondo di Sviluppo e Coesione

Health Area; project code: ARS01_01205; CUP: B99C20000300005

Total cost: € €7,725.521.60 (grant funding €3,771.754.00)

Cost for activities done in Lincotek Medical: € 235,922.56 (grant funding €106,521.50)

Other partners of the project: Marrelli Health (lead partner), Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Politecnico di Milano, Politecnico di Bari

Start of activity: December 2020

Project duration: 30 months