Jan 27, 2016 | By Benedict

After some demanding aerospace and racing projects, it looks like it’s back to basics for French 3D printing specialist Poly-Shape, SAS, which is beginning work on a range of 3D printed spinal implants. LDR Holding Corporation, a medical device company focused on designing and commercializing spine disorder technologies, announced a minority investment in Poly-Shape. The two companies will look to combine LDR’s spinal expertise with Poly-Shape’s proprietary additive manufacturing methods in order to produce high quality 3D printed spinal implants.

Poly-Shape, a subsidiary of the French group Upperside, is headquartered at Saint-Pierre-du-Perray in the Paris metropolitan area. Poly-Shape recently made headlines for its work in an entirely different field. Back in October, the French additive experts created Europe’s largest 3D printed spacecraft components, a pair of telemetry and command antenna for Thales Alenia Space’s communication satellites. Now, the small Paris-based firm will be putting its back into a medical project of equal importance.

Thanks to their patient-specificity, 3D printed spinal implants give medical professionals the chance to correct spinal injuries and deformities with little disruption to a patient’s anatomy. Because of their precisely engineered internal structure, implants made using additive manufacturing technology can also offer the advantage of reduced mass and volume.

The promising 3D printing collaboration has been in the works for a short while, with contracts signed in the fourth quarter of 2015. Additional investment in the project was offered by ALIAD, the venture capital affiliate of Air Liquide, a world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health. LDR’s investment will see it hold a seat on the Poly-Shape Board of Directors, and the two companies expect to launch their first range of 3D printed spinal implants as early as mid-2017.

Christophe Lavigne, President and CEO of LDR, expressed positive feelings about the collaboration: “As a company with a passion for innovation, LDR is very pleased with this alliance. Poly-Shape has developed a reputation for its novel manufacturing techniques, and for the production of parts that meet the rigorous quality and functional standards of its clients, which include Formula One™ race teams and companies developing aerospace applications.

“Access to this experience and capability supports our philosophy of utilizing cutting-edge technology to bring high-quality spinal implants and instruments to our surgeon customers and their patients. The collaboration will help us continue to develop and deliver best-in-class products for Minimal Implant Volume (MIVo) spinal surgery.”

Stéphane Abed, co-founder and CEO of Poly-Shape, added the following: “Poly-Shape is excited to partner with LDR and to leverage our additive manufacturing expertise, proven in aerospace and racing, to produce novel spinal implants that will benefit patients and physicians.

“I believe LDR is an ideal partner for Poly-Shape in that we share a similar philosophy based on innovation that provides true, measurable benefits. Our co-development will result in spinal implants with more complex geometries and unique features which are free from the limits that may be associated with conventional manufacturing methods.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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