Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Cancer Patient Receives Ribs Printed in 3D

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Cancer Patient Receives Ribs Printed in 3D

Article excerpt

The physicians treating a 54-year-old Spanish man's chest-wall sarcoma decided to remove his sternum and a portion of his rib cage and replace it with an implant.

The implant was designed and manufactured by a medical device company that used a 3D printer at a facility in Melbourne, Australia. The procedure was described in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.

The surgical team--Jose Aranda, Marcelo Jimene, and Gonzalo Varela--knew the surgery would be difficult due to the complicated geometries involved in the chest cavity.

"We thought, maybe we could create a new type of implant that we could fully customize to replicate the intricate structures of the sternum and ribs," Aranda says. "We wanted to provide a safer option for our patient, and improve his recovery post-surgery."

After assessing the complexity of the requirements, Andrew Batty, CEO of Anatomics, the company that made the implant, said the solution lay in metallic 3D printing.

"We wanted to 3D print the implant from titanium because of its complex geometry and design," Batty says. …

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