Nov 2, 2015 | By Alec

Over the past few years, Australia has been steadily building a reputation as home to excellent medical 3D printing innovators, and it now looks like they can add another hospital to their impressive list of achievements. With the help of a grant from the State Government of Western Australia, the Royal Perth Hospital will start accommodating a bio 3D printing procedure for growing skull parts using stem cell technology.

This new procedure is one of nine health and medical projects that has just received funding from the Western Australia government, for a total of $2 AUD in funds. Like the other eight, it is intended to improve the cost effectiveness and efficiency of the Australian public health system. This funding program has been in progress for eight years now, and has been particularly successful in encouraging research and translating results into health care policies and practices.

However, this particular technology is especially impressive .The goal is to implement 3D printing and stem cell technologies into skull restoration procedures. Cranial reconstruction is a difficult process, especially for patients with severely damaged skulls. Aside from damage, some eligible patients also have had pieces removed to enable surgery or relieve pressure on swollen brain tissue. As biomedical materials engineer Alan Kop explains, they are currently using titanium plates, which can cause infection, or plastics or ceramics.

But with the help of this grant, patients in the Royal Perth Hospital will be able to ‘regrow’ they own skull pieces. The team responsible includes a surgeon, a neurosurgeon and a principal scientist who have been working with an Austrian 3D printing company in Vienna. As Dr. Kop explained, success rates would be far higher when patients regrow their own bone, and hopes plenty of patients will volunteer for the clinical trial program – which is set to kick of next year. ‘Hopefully, it will become commonplace,’ he told reporters.

While announcing the projects selected for the 2015 Research Translation Project Grants, Health Minister Kim Hames said that this particular reconstruction procedure could greatly improve results, save costs and decrease surgical times and even the likelihood of complications. ‘This project highlights some of the innovative and groundbreaking research that is under way in WA's public health system, and the commitment of the Government to supporting this crucial work,’ Hames said in a statement. That’s why this project was selected out of a particularly strong and diverse field of applicants, the minister added.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Alvaro wrote at 11/2/2015 5:42:12 PM:

Amazing! The titanium will be replaced and the next step will be the teeth

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