The 3D printing industry is taking the orthopedics world by storm. Here at Kapstone, we’ve been watching the developments all year, and expect much more innovation and regulation news to come in 2015.
Out of the many 3D printing stories in healthcare this year, here are four inspiring picks:
First 3D Vertebra Implanted in Peking
In August, doctors at Peking University implanted the very first 3D printed vertebra.
A 12-year-old male patient suffered from a malignant tumor within his spinal cord. Surgeons replaced a cancerous section of vertebra in his neck with a 3D printed piece.
A titanium powder was used to create the medical device, and the procedure and device remains a success.
University of Verona Bone Replicas
Also this summer, a doctor in Verona, Italy used a Stratasys 3D printer to create a 3D replica of a severe bone fracture. He now utilizes these printed replicas to show his patients how the surgery will work, and then simulates the surgery in his lab with the 3D bones in order to finalize what equipment will be needed.
This type of experimentation will allow surgeons to become more comfortable with their procedures.
First FDA-Cleared 3D Printed Implant
In March, the FDA awarded 510(k) clearance for the first time for an additively manufactured polymer implant. The product is called the OsteoFab Patient Specific Cranial Device, manufactured by Oxford Performance Materials of South Windsor, CT. Oxford is able to “grow” implants layer by layer using a digital CAD file, without the aid of tooling.
New Innovation Hub
In late October, Medical Innovations Labs of Austin, TX announced their new 3D printing hub. They plan to provide a hands-on lab environment for medical device inventors and clinicians to launch a new generation of innovation.
These breakthroughs will have a big impact on the future of medical devices. Our team continues to stay on top of the newest developments in order to prepare inventors for this new wave of additive manufacturing.