Anatomics, CSIRO achieve another 3D printed world-first

Melbourne’s Anatomics and the CSIRO’s Lab 22 have created a claimed world-first: a 3D printed sternum and ribcage implant for a Spanish sarcoma sufferer.

This morning it was announced that the surgical team treating a patient at Salamanca University Hospital had approached Anatomics, seeking an implant for the 54-year-old man.

Anatomics designed the implant for the removed bone, located in an area of the body that is – due to its complicated shapes – is difficult to replace with conventional implants. The solution was printed on the CSIRO’s Arcam electron beam melting machine.

“While titanium implants have previously been used in chest surgery, designs have not considered the issues surrounding long term fixation,” said Andrew Batty, Anatomics’ CEO.

“Flat and plate implants rely on screws for rigid fixation that may come loose over time. This can increase the risk of complications and the possibility of reoperation.”

Twelve days after the surgery, the Spaniard had been discharged from hospital.

Industry minister Ian Macfarlane said in a statement that such collaborations would be important in lifting Australia’s performance in innovation.

“Collaboration is the key to boosting Australia’s innovation performance,” said the minister.

“Initiatives like our Industry Growth Centres will foster these links and relationships which are critical to future successes like this.”

Anatomics and the CSIRO also collaborated last year to 3D print a titanium heel-bone replacement – another reported world-first – which saved a 71-year-old Melbourne man’s foot

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