CT-Bone®: Real Bone from the 3D Printer
Patients requiring skeletal augmentation, for example those with facial asymmetry resulting from either trauma or congenital defects, would be helped best with a bony implant made to match their anatomy. Therefore, Dutch company Xilloc, specialist in patient-specific implants and Japanese company Next21, specialist in ceramics are going to collaborate on the 3D printing of CT-Bone®.
Typical bone augmentation implants are made from alloplastic materials, or the patient’s own bone is cut and repositioned. CT-Bone® is a bone-like implant that can be 3D printed and is converted to real bone by the patient.
After taking a CT-scan of the patient, a patient-specific implant is designed by our biomedical engineers in collaboration with the surgeon. This design perfectly fits on the anatomy of the patient, ensuring good bone-to-implant contact and facilitating bony ingrowth. The design is 3D printed in calcium phosphate, the main constituent of natural bone. When implanted, CT-Bone® unifies with the patient’s own bone in the next months.
Unlike other 3D printed ceramics, CT-Bone® does not require a thermal process to increase mechanical strength and therefore also displays better bony fusion. The process of 3D printing allows complex shapes and controlled porosity, similar to natural bone.
“3D Printing of CT-Bone® allows us to help even more patients with a tailor-made solution” Maikel Beerens (CEO Xilloc)
Xilloc (Maastricht, The Netherlands) specializes in the design and production of patient-specific implants, surgical cutting guides and anatomical models. Xilloc pioneered with 3D printing both the world’s first titanium cranial reconstruction and the world’s first titanium full mandible reconstruction. www.xilloc.com
Next21 (Tokyo, Japan) started a business in 2000 to develop innovative medical technologies, spearheaded by the Bone Factory that developed CT-Bone®. Next21 conducted successful preclinical tests and a clinical trial on CT-Bone®. www.next21.info
Top photo: Example of CT-Bone®: A zygomatic implant (Photo courtesy of Xilloc)