Apr 20, 2017 | By David

De Puy Synthes, which is part of the Johnson and Johnson family, has acquired 3D printed bone technology from Tissue Regeneration Systems, a Michigan-based medical device company. This will complement of a new range of medical devices and solutions that Johnson and Johnson will be introducing to the market, including surgical guides and implants.

Tissue Regeneration Systems is an early-stage medical device company that has been making significant developments in skeletal reconstruction and bone regeneration technology since 2008. Its work is based on research performed at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin, and makes use of cutting-edge 3D printing technology. The company started collaborating with De Puy Synthes in 2014, facilitated by the Innovation division of Johnson and Johnson, which seeks to invest in early-stage companies and entrepreneurs to bring pioneering new products to market.

Now this acquisition will enable De Puy Synthes to provide truly personalized health care solutions to customers as standard. According to Ciro Römer, Company Group Chairman, ''We are systematically investing in building a pipeline of 3D printed products...The TRS technology, which will be added to the DePuy Synthes Trauma Platform, is the latest example of how we are working toward developing next-generation technologies that transform healthcare delivery with individualized solutions for patients." 

Trauma is one of the key platforms that DPS has been looking to develop in recent years, and the ability to create patient-specific, bioresorbable implants will be a huge boon for the company. 3D printing will be used to make the implants, based on CT scans or X-rays of the patient’s anatomy that are then converted into 3D models ready for printing. Surgical guides to improve the efficiency and accuracy of operations and surgical procedures will be produced in a similar fashion.

The implants will feature a unique mineral coating intended to support bone healing, and are made for patients with orthopaedic and craniomaxillofacial deformities and injuries. Orthopaedic and CMF patients are a group who have particularly benefitted recently from the implementation of 3D printing technology in healthcare, with the technological infrastructure now firmly established to make 3D printed jawbones and hips that are tailor-made to a specific patient’s needs. The Johnson and Johnson family in particular has made the harnessing of 3D printing technology a priority, and has established more than 50 collaborations with a view to achieving better patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes across the medical industry.

As well as DPS’ new bone implants, J&J's 3D Printing Center of Excellence has recently made a new range of customized surgical tools available to hospitals across the United States. Instead of being assembled from a number of different components, these made-to-order surgical tools are 3D printed as a single instrument that fits the specific procedure it is being used for. “Typically, a doctor may enter the operating room with multiple instrument sizes, which can introduce added inefficiency into the surgery. With 3D printing, however, it’s possible to create tools that fit the procedure exactly,” said mechanical engineer Sam Onukuri, head of the JNJ 3D Printing Center of Excellence.

Bioprinted knee meniscus tissue is another 3D printing-based project that J&J currently has in the pipeline, developed in conjunction with its subsidiary Ethicon Endo-Surgery. It’s always exciting to see different companies with different areas of expertise coming together in this way to improve the quality of treatment for patients, and J&J’s recognition of the potential of 3D printing technology should see these kinds of partnerships happening more and more in the future.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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