Knee implant produced using generative design. (Credit: University of Birmingham)

Researchers and design software specialists have used a technique called generative design to produce a knee implant that can be used to treat osteoarthritis. Generative design uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to design parts that can be manufactured to be absolutely optimal for their intended use.

Generative design allows the implants to be biomechanically specific, so the implant is tailored to the load it will be bearing. This also allows the end product to be lighter, less prominent, and minimally invasive, which means the patient will heal more quickly and is also less likely to need revision surgery.

The AI integrated design interface allowed them to configure tailored surgical planning parameters taking personal biomechanical information into account, then synergistically combining it with the embedded manufacturing intelligence to model medical-grade titanium implants that are specific to each patient.