Patient receives 3D-printed titanium sternum and rib cage
Following a 3D-printed heel bone, a3D-printed mouth guard for sleep apnea sufferers and the world's first3D-printed jet engine, Lab 22 at Australia's CSIRO has added to the growing list of3D-printed medical implants by designing and printing a replacement titaniumsternum and rib cage for a 54-year-old cancer patient.
The sternum and rib cage features a complexgeometry that means the flat and plate implants traditionally used for thispart of the chest can come loose over time. For this reason, the surgical team at the Salamanca UniversityHospital in Spain thought a custom 3D-printed implant would be a better optionfor a Spanish man suffering from a chest wall sarcoma – a condition that had resulted in a cancerous tumor growing around his rib cage, requiring certainsections to be removed.
By using high resolution CT scans, Melbourne-basedmedical device company Anatomics, working with the patient's surgical team, wasable to design an implant specifically customized to fit perfectly in thepatient's chest. With the design in hand, the company turned to Lab 22, whoprinted the implant layer-by-layer using its AUD$1.3 million (US$920,000) Arcamelectron beam metal 3D printer.
Once complete, the 3D-printed sternum andpartial rib cage was couriered to Spain and implanted into the patient's chest.The implant was designed with pieces that went over the remaining bone andallowed them to be attached securely with screws.
The surgery was a success and the patientwas discharged from hospital 12 days later.
The video below below describes the processused to create the implant.