Patient Has 75 Percent of Skull Replaced by 3D-Printed Implant

| by

It seems metal used to replace bones in the past may soon be obsolete, as doctors are now using 3D-printed implants to replicate bone structures.

A patient recently had 75 percent of their skull replaced with a 3D-printed implant.

The people who created it now hope that they can use the same 3D-printing technology to replace other types of damaged bones in many places in the body.

Researchers at Oxford Performance Materials were able to create the artificial skull by scanning the patient’s head and then used the scan print-out as a replacement “cap.”

They believe this type of implant could replace bones damaged by disease or trauma, especially for those with cancer, or victims of car crashes and wounded soldiers.

President of Oxford Performance Materials, Scott DeFelice, said, “It is our firm belief that this is a highly transformative and disruptive technology platform that will substantially impact all sectors of the orthopaedic industry. We have sought our first approval within cranial implants because the need was most compelling; however, this is just the beginning.”

Now they are setting out to test the artificial implants on other parts of the body.

“We will now move systematically throughout the body in an effort to deliver improved outcomes at lower overall cost to the patient and healthcare provider.”

Oxford Performance Materials is selling the implants abroad but the US Drug Administration is only giving permission for them to be used in American operations.

The process is quite intricate, as the patient’s skull was scanned and “printed out” layer by layer.

The implants are made of polyetherketoneketone and can be made for a patient within two weeks.

Researchers are preparing to submit other parts of 3D-printed bone to the FDA for approval.