July 23, 2015 | By Simon

As we continue to hear about how additive manufacturing is dramatically revolutionizing the medical industry, we’re also hearing a lot of ‘firsts’ as these revolutionary procedures are actually put in to practice rather than existing as merely a concept or theory.  

Yesterday, 4WEB Medical, a leading global provider of 3D printed orthopedic implants which was founded in Texas in 2008, announced that they had completed their first Australian patient-specific 3D printed implant surgery in Brisbane.  The procedure was done with the help of their Australian health care partner LifeHealthcare.

The medical implant company, which was founded by current company president and CEO Jesse Hunt, is the result of over three decades of research in topological dimension theory, which can be used as a building block to create high-strength, lightweight web structures.  Mr. Hunt leveraged this breakthrough along with 3D printing technology to develop 4WEB Medical's proprietary truss implant platform.  Today, the company offers a number of surgical solutions for variety of surgeons including neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and foot and ankle surgeons.   

"We are very excited about 4WEB's first Australian patient specific implant procedure," said Hunt.

"While this is our first custom implant procedure completed in Australia, 4WEB has completed nearly 100 custom truss implant procedures performed worldwide dating back to 2011.  4WEB has produced patient specific implants in a variety of orthopedic procedures such as spinal fusions, hemi-pelvectomies, distal tibial osteotomies, humeral and femoral segmental bone defects, ankle revisions, sternectomies as well as many others."

To produce their patient-specific truss implants, 4WEB Medical utilizes additive manufacturing technologies and a design and fabrication process that includes surgeon participation.  Once the company’s engineers and the surgeon determine a plan of action, the engineers then use 3D software to reconstruct a patient’s anatomy based off of data from a provided CT scan.  This workflow - along with constant feedback from the surgeon - allows for the engineers to have full control over a custom truss implant design to fill the void left by the resection.  Following surgeon design approval, the patient specific device is 3D printed and implanted with unprecedented anatomical precision.

"The ability to customize the truss implant to match the unique anatomy of an individual patient is a significant advancement in orthopedics,” adds Matt Muscio, the Chief Operations Officer of LifeHealthcare.

“Current porous metal technologies rely on bone attachment which has shown some drawbacks over time.  The open architecture truss implant technology provides a robust scaffolding for structural support while allowing for osseous incorporation."



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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