Feb 27, 2017 | By Tess

Australian organization CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, recently partnered with Anatomics, a Melbourne-based medical implant company, and a team of UK doctors to implant a 3D printed titanium and polymer sternum into a 61-year-old British patient. The operation marked the first time that a 3D printed sternum made from titanium and a synthetic polymer had been implanted into a human.

The patient, 61-year-old Edward Evans, suffered from a rare infection that necessitated the removal of his sternum, or breastbone. Since receiving his new 3D printed titanium-polymer implant, Evans is reportedly recovering very well.

In making the sternum implant, CSIRO partnered with medical implant company Anatomics. The latter was responsible for designing the titanium and polymer implant, while CSIRO took charge of its manufacturing, 3D printing the implant at its Lab 22 facility in Melbourne.

“I’m proud of our cutting-edge work with Anatomics that has enabled patients around the world to regain the ability to walk, to sit up and lead normal lives,” said Dr. Keith McLean, Director of CSIRO Manufacturing. "Here in Melbourne, we have quietly been developing what we believe is one of the world’s most advanced capability in reconstructive prosthetics, and this recent success in the UK demonstrates that."

This is not the first time CSIRO and Anatomics have partnered, as both parties worked together in 2015 to manufacture a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib implant for a Spanish cancer patient, and had previously teamed up to create a 3D printed titanium heel bone for an Australian cancer patient in 2014. This is, however, the first time they have additively manufactured an implant made from advanced composite materials.

According to Anatomics Executive Chairman Paul D’Urso, the 3D printed titanium and polymer sternum implant recreates both the “hard and soft tissues” that are present in the human body. The patient’s positive recovery after the implantation shows the potential of such composite implants. Evans’ surgery took place in Spain, where he was discharged after only 12 days. His story was covered in an episode of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor on BBC TV.

CSIRO, which in 2015 launched a $6 million metal 3D printing center, has been tied to many interesting and innovative 3D printing projects within Australia. For instance, Oventus Medical, the company behind the O2Vent sleep apnoea device, operates an additive manufacturing facility out of a CSIRO site; CSIRO and RMIT have been developing cheap 3D printed electronics; and the organization has published a comprehensive “Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap” for Australian businesses.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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R. Ziemann wrote at 3/1/2017 7:39:33 PM:

Has 3D printing been used in knee replacement? Has 3D printing been used the replace cartilage for an OA patient?

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