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Zimmer, Inc.

Trabecular Metal™ Technology

The Best Thing Next to Bone™

Trabecular Metal™ Technology is an advanced fixation surface designed for orthopedic and dental implants.  With a high coefficient of friction (0.98), it provides excellent initial scratch fit.1 Unlike coatings and other surfaces, Trabecular Metal Material has up to 80% porosity, enhancing the potential for bone ingrowth and soft tissue vascularization.2

With its nano-textured struct architecture, Trabecular Metal material is similar to cancellous bone in structure, function, and physiology.1


  • Up to 80% porosity1
  • Consistent pore size and 100% interconnecting pores facilitate biologic ingrowth2
  • The combination of strength and elasticity of elemental tantalum3


  • High coefficient of friction for enhanced stability1
  • Low modulus of elasticity similar to cancellous bone for more normal physiological loading which has the potential to reduce stress shielding4


  • Elemental tantalum is chemically stable and biologically inert3
  • Structure supports bone integration, bone remodeling, and vascularization5
  • Nano-textured surface structure1

Trabecular Metal Material is in widespread use throughout Zimmer's product portfolio, including hip, knee, and shoulder implants; trauma applications; spine implants; bone void fillers and augments; AVN screws 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 orthopaedic implants, making it highly biocompatible and corrosion-resistant.  Tantalum is the ideal material for this ingrowth structure, becuase it has high fatigue strength and a compressive modulus that allows it to bend before breaking.3

Trabecular Metal Material is produced at a dedicated facility in Parsippany, New Jersey. Utilizing a proprietary  thermal deposition process, elemental tantalum is deposited onto a substrate, creating a nanotextured surface topography and building Trabecular Metal Material one atom at a time.6

To learn more about the unique manufacturing process of Trabecular Metal Material, schedule a visit to the manufacturing facility in Parsippany, New Jersey. Contact your Zimmer sales associate for more information.

Zimmer Trabecular Metal Technology has more than 15 years of clinical history, and the performance of specific components in human subjects has been well-documented in 250+ peer-reviewed journal articles and abstracts.7-8 Independent studies have confirmed the structural and mechanical properties of Trabecular Metal material.

  • Consistent 3D tantalum structure similar to cancellous bone1
  • 0.98 coefficient of friction9
  • Up to 80% porosity 1
  • Average pore size of 440µm1
  • Low modus of elasticity1

Clinical Value Dossier for Trabecular Metal™ Technology


  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. Black J. Biological performance of tantalum. Clin Materials. 1994;16:167-173.
  4. Lewallen DG, Hanssen AD, et al. Bone remodeling around porous metal cementless acetabular components. J Arthroplasty. 2009;04:25.
  5. DA Shimko, VF Shimko, EA Sander, KF Dickson, EA Nauman, “Effect of Porosity on the Fluid Flow Characteristics and Mechanical Properties of Tantalum Scaffolds”, published on-line February 2005 in Wiley Interscience (, J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2005 May;73(2):315-324.
  6. Hacking, SA, Bobyn JD, Toh K-K, et. al. The osseous response to corundum blasted implant surfaces in a canine total hip arthroplasty model. Clin Orthop Rel Res. 1999; 364:240-253.
  7. O’Keefe T, Cohen RC, Averill RA, et. al. Design principles of a novel monoblock acetabular cup. Proc Australian Orthopedic Association, Brisbane, Australia, 1999.
  8. Christie MJ, DeBoer DK, Schwartz HS. Total knee arthroplasty and limb salvage with a custom tantalum femoral implant. Inter. Society of Tech in Arthroplasty, Berlin, 2000.
  9. 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. J Musculoskeletal Res 1999.