Bone Plates and Screws

Length: 2 weeks (Introductory lecture, independent study and presentations)

Level: 2nd Year Biomaterials/Bioengineering

Aims: To consider the material and material processing techniques used in the construction of bone plates and screws.

Key Skills: Group working, communication, organisation, independent study

Assessment: Group report and Presentation

Bone plates and screws are used in surgical procedures to stabilise or realign broken bones. This case study looks at the material and material processing techniques used in the construction of these products. This is a group-based activity in which you will investigate material selection and design, product processing and product function. There are a variety of different materials used for the construction of bone plates and screws and each group will be assigned one specific material to focus their study on. These are

  • Stainless steel
  • Titanium alloy
  • Cobolt chrome
  • Shape memory materials

You should consider how these products are used for the femoral head, bone screw, finger/toe plate and ankle plate. Students should investigate the appropriateness of the materials and processing techniques used.


Each group must submit a single written report addressing the above tasks and summarising the main findings and conclusions drawn (50% of the case study mark. The report is to be 1500 words long.(Tips for writing reports)

Each group must also give a 10 minute presentation (50% of the case study mark). Ensure you introduce who you are and the main areas of your talk. Finish with a slide showing the main conclusions. (Tips for giving an effective presentation)


ASM metals handbooks