Ground-breaking cranial surgeries are made possible by the technology developed by 3D Systems.


Revolutionizing Patient Care: 3D Printing Cranial Implants

Welcome to VoxelMatters! Today, we are going to share a groundbreaking story about how 3D printing technology is transforming patient care by producing patient-specific cranial implants.

At the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, under the leadership of Prof. Florian Thieringer, the Medical Additive Manufacturing Research Group (Swiss MAM) collaborated with the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the Department of Neurosurgery to create the first cranial implant at the point of care that complies with the current Medical Devices Regulations.

Utilizing 3D Systems’ point-of-care technologies and Evonik’s VESTAKEEP i4 3DF PEEK material, the team successfully replaced a section of a disintegrating skull in a 46-year-old male patient who had suffered complications from a stroke in 2019. This patient experienced visual disturbances, severe headaches, and dizziness, as well as a sinking forehead due to the disintegration of his skullcap.

To create a customized implant, the team first took a CT scan of the patient’s skull and imported it into software to generate a model. This model was then 3D printed in the hospital’s lab using Evonik’s VESTAKEEP i4 3DF PEEK material on 3D Systems’ EXT 220 MED extrusion platform. The choice of PEEK material was ideal due to its mechanical properties, which are lightweight, resistant to thermal and ionizing radiation, and similar to human bone.

The success of the implantation at the University Hospital Basel highlights the potential of medical 3D printing to revolutionize patient care. Prof. Thieringer emphasizes the importance of collaboration and advanced technology in improving healthcare outcomes. This achievement would not have been possible without the expertise provided by POC APP AG around quality management systems (QMS) and regulatory guidelines.

Meanwhile, at Salzburg University Hospital in Austria, the Department of Oromaxillofacial Surgery utilized 3D Systems’ point-of-care solution to address the needs of a 55-year-old male patient suffering from craniosynostosis. This condition occurs when one of the cranial bones ossifies too early during childhood, leading to skull deformation.

The hospital’s in-house clinicians used Oqton’s D2P software to create 3D models from the patient’s CT images and Oqton’s Geomagic Freeform to design a patient-specific occipital prosthesis. The cranial implant was 3D printed using Evonik’s VESTAKEEP i4 3DF PEEK material on 3D Systems’ EXT 220 MED extrusion platform.

These remarkable achievements demonstrate how collaboration between hospitals, advanced technology, and the use of patient-specific 3D printing can provide customized solutions that improve patient outcomes. The ability to produce durable and biocompatible implants using 3D Systems’ unique extrusion printing technology, combined with the benefits of PEEK material, offers immense potential for the future of healthcare.

As we celebrate these groundbreaking advancements, we anticipate even greater innovations in medical 3D printing that will continue to revolutionize patient care and improve lives.

Stay tuned to VoxelMatters for more exciting stories and updates on the world of medical 3D printing!

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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