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How 3D printing is changing the world in five slides: 4Web Medical

One of the areas where 3D printing is making tremendous inroads and disrupting conventional technology is in the production of patient-specific orthopedic implants. One more recent example came to light this week from the land down under.

Norbert Sparrow

July 23, 2015

2 Min Read
How 3D printing is changing the world in five slides: 4Web Medical

One of the areas where 3D printing is making tremendous inroads and disrupting conventional technology is in the production of patient-specific orthopedic implants. One more recent example came to light this week from the land down under.

4WEB Medical (Frisco, TX), a supplier of 3D-printed orthopedic implants, announced on July 22 the first Australian patient-specific implant surgery supported by its partner, LifeHealthcare, a supplier of medical devices in Australia and New Zealand headquartered near Sydney. "The ability to customize the truss implant to match the unique anatomy of an individual patient is a significant advancement in orthopedics," said Matt Muscio, COO, LifeHealthcare, in a prepared statement. "Current porous metal technologies rely on bone attachment that has shown some drawbacks over time. The open architecture truss implant technology provides a robust scaffolding for structural support while allowing for osseous incorporation," he added.

4WEB Medical uses additive manufacturing to produce the patient-specific truss implants in consultation with surgeons. Using 3D software reconstructions of the patient's anatomy acquired from a CT scan, the surgeon is able to plan bone resections. The 4WEB engineers then design a custom truss implant to fill the void left by the resection. Following surgeon design approval, the patient-specific device is 3D printed and implanted with unprecedented anatomical precision, says the company.

While this is a first for Australia, 4WEB has completed nearly 100 custom truss implant procedures worldwide dating back to 2011. Patient-specific implants have been printed for a variety of orthopedic procedures including spinal fusions, humeral and femoral segmental bone defects and ankle revisions.

To view another slide show highlighting how 3D printing is revolutionizing medical technology, click on the arrow under the image.

4web-implant-625.jpg

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree. Reach him at [email protected].

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