This study aimed to design an anatomical contour metal three-dimensional (3D)- printed oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF) cage with porous (lattices) structure and embedded screw fixation to enhance bone ingrowth to reduce the risk of cage subsidence and avoid the stress-shielding effect. Finite element (FE) analysis and weight topology optimization (WTO) were used to optimize the structural design of the OLIF cage based on the anatomical contour morphology of patients with osteoporosis. Two oblique embedded fixation screws and lattice design with 65% porosity and average pore size of 750 μm were equipped with the cage structure. The cage was fabricated via metal 3D printing, and static/dynamic compression and compressive-shear tests were performed in accordance with the ASTM F2077-14 standard to evaluate its mechanical resistance. On FE analysis, the OLIF cage with embedded screw model had the most stability, lowest stress values on the endplate, and uniform stress distribution versus standalone cage and fixed with lateral plate under extension, lateral flexion, and rotation. The fatigue test showed that the stiffnesses/endurance limits (pass 5 million dynamic test) were 16,658 N/mm/6000 N for axial load and 19,643 N/mm/2700 N for compression shear. In conclusion, an OLIF cage with embedded fixation screws can be designed by integrating FE and WTO analysis based on the statistical results of endplate morphology. This improves the stability of the OLIF cage to decrease endplate destruction. The complex contour and lattice design of the OLIF cage need to be manufactured via metal 3D printing; the dynamic axial compression and compressive-shear strengths are greater than that of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standard.
- 3D printing
- Finite element
- Oblique lumbar interbody fusion
- Topological optimization