Trabecular Metal™ Technology


Zimmer Biomet's Trabecular Metal Material is a unique, highly porous biomaterial made from elemental tantalum with structural, functional, and physiological properties similar to that of bone.1  The material features a 100% open, engineered and interconnected pore structure to support bony in-growth and vascularization.1,2  The material has over 20 years of demonstrated clinical use in a variety of orthopaedic applications.3,6,7


  • Made from commercially pure elemental tantalum and designed to withstand physiologic loads.1
  • 100% open engineered and interconnected pore structure to support bony in-growth and vascularization.1,2
  • Up to 80% porosity.1


  • Low modulus of elasticity similar to cancellous bone for more normal physiological loading which has the potential to reduce stress shielding when used in a monoblock or monolithic application.3
  • High coefficient of friction vs. cancellous bone for  stable initial fixation.3


  • Chemically stable and biocompatible material which creates very little adverse biological response.4

Trabecular Metal Material has demonstrated clinical use throughout Zimmer Biomet's product portfolio, including hip, knee, and shoulder implants; trauma applications; spine implants; bone void fillers and augments; Osteonecrosis Rods and dental implants.

Trabecular Metal Material is made of elemental tantalum (atomic number 73), one of the most chemically stable and biologically inert metals used in orthopedic implants.5 This makes it highly biocompatible and corrosion-resistant.  Tantalum is the ideal material for this structure, because it has high fatigue strength and a compressive modulus that allows it to bend before breaking.3

Utilizing a proprietary chemical deposition process, elemental tantalum is deposited onto a substrate, creating a nanotextured surface topography and building Trabecular Metal Material one atom at a time.

Zimmer Biomet’s Trabecular Metal™ Technology has more than 19 years of clinical history.3,6,7 The performance of specific components in human subjects has been well-documented in 320+ peer-reviewed journal articles, poster exhibits and abstracts. Independent studies have confirmed the structural and mechanical properties of Trabecular Metal material, which include:

  • Consistent 3D tantalum structure similar to cancellous bone.1
  • Up to 80% porosity.1
  • Average pore size of 440µm.2,8
  • Low modus of elasticity.1
  • 0.98 coefficient of friction for net shape parts.3
  1. Bobyn JD, Hacking SA, Chan SP, et al. Characterization of new porous tantalum biomaterial for reconstructive orthopaedics. Scientific Exhibition: 66th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; 1999; Anaheim, CA.
  2. Karageorgiou V, Kaplan D. Porosity of biomaterial scaffolds and osteogenesis. Biomaterials. 2005; 26:5474-5491.
  3. Zhang Y, Ahn PB, Fitzpatrick DC, Heiner A, Poggie RA, Brown TD, Interfacial frictional behavior; cancellous bone, cortical bone, and a novel porous tantalum biomaterial. Journal Musculoskeletal Research 1999.
  4. Lewallen DG, Hanssen AD, et al. Bone remodeling around porous metal cementless acetabular components. Journal Arthroplasty. 2009;04:25.
  5. Black J. Biological performance of tantalum. Clinical Materials. 1994;16:167-173.
  6. JD Bobyn, GJ Stackpool, SA Hacking, M Tanzer, JJ Krygier, Characteristics of Bone In-Growth and Interface Mechanics of a New Porous Tantalum Biomaterial, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British Version), Sept, 1999, 81-B No. 5 pp 907-914.
  7. A Shirazi-Adl, M Dammak, G Paiement, "Experimental determination of friction characteristics at the Trabecular bone / porous-coated metal interface in Cementless implants", the Journal of Biomedical Research, Vol 27, 1993, pp 167-175.
  8. Data on file at Zimmer.

For questions about the data in the above report, please contact:

Zimmer Biomet Medical Affairs
Tel: (888) 210-8234

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