Degree Name

Master of Philosophy


School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience


There is a current need for the development of new bone implant materials to overcome a variety of surgical, biological, and manufacturing drawbacks. There are several techniques used in the manufacturing of bone implants such as 3D printing. Rapid prototyping/3D printing is an important process in the development of implants used in bone fixation surgeries, its importance lies within the ability to customize and create patient specific systems to increase the efficiency of bone fixation surgeries. The main aim of this study is to develop and test new materials for the purpose of internal fixation implants, such as bone staples, using 3D printing. The focus of this study will be on biocompatible polymers as a viable alternative for metal alloys in the use of surgical staples. The specific aims are: (i) Develop and design a mechanical apparatus to assess surgical staples taking into consideration the guidelines provided in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM standard F564) for testing commercial surgical staples. This aim was addressed by designing mechanical grips and extension blocks using CAD (Computer Aided Design) with fabrication in aluminum; (ii) Characterize and test a set of biocompatible polymers as surgical bone staples. The materials were examined (a) mechanically using tensile tests, (b) thermally using thermogravimetric analysis, and (c) chemically using simulated body fluid; (iii) Compare the mechanical performance of staples generated using different 3D printing methods. The methods used to fabricate surgical staples in this study are fused deposition modeling (FDM), stereolithography (SLA), and composite-based additive manufacturing technology (CBAM); and (iv) Assess the impact of heat sintering post 3D printing on the integrity of the designed staples.

FoR codes (2008)




Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.