What's New at APS Materials, Inc.
Jul 5, 2012 — Biomedical Implant Coatings: The APS Materials Advantage
Founded by material science engineers, APS Materials, Inc. (APS) has 35 years of expertise providing innovative thermal spray technology to a diverse collection of industries. APS provides services to the biomedical, aerospace, electronics, automotive, and the materials processing industries. The engineers at APS are focused on clients and how to tailor surface modifications to a wide range of needs. APS is an ISO certified organization and emphasizes the highest quality of work for every client.
Biomedical device manufacturers have taken notice of APS's experience and quality of work in biomedical implant coatings; seven out of ten of the world's largest medical device manufacturers use orthopedic implant coatings from APS. APS uses plasma spray technology to coat implants with titanium (Ti 6Al 4V), commercially pure titanium (cp Ti) or hydroxyapatite. Significant advantages of these biomedical coatings include sufficient mechanical properties to maintain implant integrity as well as osseointegration, which is the anchoring of the implant through surrounding bone growth with no fibrous tissue formation. This increased osseointegration, as compared to uncoated implants, has the potential to decrease recovery time and pain for patients.
Hydroxyapatite (HA) has been successfully utilized extensively in dental and orthopedic applications. This popular and effective coating is a mineral composed of calcium and phosphorus, and is the main storage form of calcium and phosphorus in bone. Thus, hydroxyapatite serves as an excellent biomedical implant coating for orthopedics because of its superb biocompatibility, osseointegration, and ease of FDA approval. Additionally, these coatings allow for non-cemented implants, such as hips and knees. A major issue with cemented implants is implant loosening, which can generate wear debris that the human body recognizes as a foreign body and initiates an immune response.
Porous titanium biomedical implant coatings also have excellent biocompatibility and have been utilized extensively in orthopedic implants. Titanium coatings have been applied to vertebral disc replacements, hip implants, knee implants, and many other spine and joint devices. Coating an implant with a porous titanium coating can improve implant fixation, without resorting to a cemented implant. Because of the extensive porosity, the bone can grow directly into the implant, thus fixating the implant directly to the bone.
To maintain excellent implant coating quality, APS follows several ISO quality systems. For biomedical applications, APS follows the protocols of the international standards of ISO 13485, the medical device quality standard for medical device manufacturers, as well as the FDA standards for biomedical device approval. This commitment to quality helps make the FDA approval process smoother and ensures clients and patients receives the highest quality implant coatings.
APS also has full metallurgical laboratory capabilities for verification of coating quality and production consistency. Mechanical testing of coatings can be conducted, including tensile, shear, abrasion, and many others. Coating microstructure, thickness, and porosity can also be analyzed for research or to ensure there are no significant coating variations. APS Materials, Inc. is a leader in the orthopedic biomedical implant coatings because of years of expertise in thermal spray technology, experienced engineers, a commitment to quality, and innovative coating technologies that can improve the outcomes of orthopedic implants.
In addition to biomedical coatings, APS Materials offers coating solutions for the Semiconductor market, Aerospace, Automotive, Mining Industry, and Fabrication/Manufacturing industries.