I-SMarD is an EU funded project that aims to the sustainable development (i.e. design, fabrication and evaluation) of the next generation dental implants, using advanced manufacturing techniques and novel nanomaterials. Members of the multidisciplinary I-SMarD consortium are the University of Leeds (UK), University of Manchester (UK), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GR), AO Forschungsinstitut at Davos (CZ), I.C.M.E.A. Limited at Bari (IT) and Attenborough Brush Limited at Nottingham (UK). Our research objectives can be summarised to the following.
a) Deliver “smart”, multifunctional titanium implants which: i) can detect the changes in the surrounding microenvironment and respond by releasing agents to prevent bacterial colonisation; ii) will have the appropriate structure to match the anatomical characteristics of dental tissues and the components to promote the formation of implant/bone and implant/soft tissue interfaces.
b) Utillise additive manufacturing techniques aiming to promote near-patient manufacturing. The capability to fabricate complex geometries is critical in order to achieve the increased functionality and personalisation of our dental implants.
c) Achieve cost optimization of the different materials and fabrication procedures in order to deliver not only an effective medical device but also a promising product.
d) Deliver technologies and tools that can benefit the development, design and evaluation of medical devices. The most characteristic examples are i) Finite Element models for biomechanical analysis of the dental implants; ii) optofluidic bioreactors that will be an intermediate evaluation step between in vitro testing and animal trials.