Mar 13, 2017 | By Julia

Oxford Performance Materials Inc. (OPM), a leader in high-performance additive manufacturing (HPAM), has made headlines again with a new European patent for its osteo-implants. Privately held OPM, which recently crossed our radar with a massive Boeing contract agreement, announced today that it has officially received a Notice of Decision to Grant a Patent from the European Patent Office.

The invention in question? OPM’s "Customized Implant for Bone Replacement," which will significantly leverage the burgeoning OsteoFab implant manufacturing process. OPM will now have the go ahead in applying its high performance additive manufacturing process to 3D print customized implants for bone replacement operations. Originally filed in late 2011, the European patent took effect on December 21, 2016, and will remain valid until August 7, 2029.

Founded back in 2000, OPM has taken the 3D printing industry by storm with its impressive focus on high-performance polymers, which have been largely applied to the aerospace, industrial, and biomedical markets.

With the latter keenly in mind, OPM has spent the last several years developing its highly innovative OsteoFab brand, which entails manufacturing 3D products from poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK) powders via selective laser sintering (SLS). Using this specialized process, OPM has 3D printed orthopedic and neurological implants that boast traits such as radiolucency, bone-like mechanical properties, and a distinctively textured surface topography, among other impressive benefits.

And with its new European patent now officially secured, OPM and its OsteoFab brand have just overcome a major hurdle for tackling the EU market. “This patent from the EPO is an important milestone for OPM as it allows us to further expand into Europe with validated process technology that enables the 3D printing of fully functional, patient-specific parts for biomedical applications,” said Severine Zygmont, President of OPM Biomedical.

Zygmont also noted that the new patent will enable improved surgical outcomes at a fraction of the cost, injecting a healthy dose of competition into the surgical implant market. The impact could potentially cause the industry to rethink how surgical implants are designed and manufactured, he said, adding: “We look forward to deliveries improved personalized medicine to the European market.”

To date, OPM Biomedical is the first and only company to receive FDA 510(k) clearance to produce its 3D printed patient-specific polymer-based implants, according to the company itself. Most FDA-approved implants are made of titanium or silicone. The company now has a total of four 510(k) clearances in its portfolio, suggesting it has no plans to slow down anytime soon.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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