Patient Receives 3D Printed Implant To Replace 75 Percent Of Skull
At the beginning of March of this year, a radical surgery was performed on an American patient: 75 percent of his skull was replaced with a 3D printed implant. The company that produced the implant, Oxford Performance Materials, made the announcement though offered little detail about the patient or the procedure. The surgery was given the green light by the Food and Drug Administration in February.
The implant is called the OsteoFab Patient Specific Cranial Device (OPSCD) or OsteoFab for short and is made from polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) thermoplastic through an additive manufacturing process. This material is not only biocompatible but is bone-like and will not interfere with x-ray scanning. After the patient’s skull was 3D scanned, the custom-made implant was printed using an EOS P800 laser sintering 3D printer. By generating the implant layer by layer, details can be added that promote the attachment of bone and surrounding cell growth.
Turnaround time for receiving an implant after submission of scans is two weeks or less.
Scott DeFelice, President and CEO of Oxford Performance Materials, stated that the OsteoFab technology “is a highly transformative and disruptive technology platform that will substantially impact all sectors of the orthopedic industry.” The company projects that between 300 to 500 patients in the U.S. alone could have skull replacement surgeries each month. Additionally, it has indicated plans to expand beyond the skull to other bone replacements in the body, opening up the technology to a multimillion dollar industry.
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