3D printing has been all over medicine this year, from 3D printed organs used for surgical pre-planning to major advances in bioprinting technology and the ongoing revolution of prosthesis manufacturing. Perhaps the fastest growing sector of medical 3D printing has been in the area of orthopedics, where 3D printed joint replacements, bone implants and surgical guides are quickly becoming commonplace. Not only is 3D printing proving to reduce costs, time spent in the operating room and patient recovery time, but it is also drastically improving the patient’s quality of life after the procedure.
For 25 years Belgian 3D printing services provider Materialise has been a leading player in the advancement of additive manufacturing technology and software development. The area that they have had one of the most profound impacts has been in the medical industry, where they have pioneered numerous medical applications. Recently they founded Mobelife, a service provider that works closely with healthcare providers to assist in the implementation of their technology. Specifically the fabrication and production of their aMace Acetabular Revision System for the generation of patient-specific orthopedic implants.
Last week, Mobelife signed a key partnership with JRI Orthopaedics to utilize their aMace system for challenging bone and joint reconstruction surgeries throughout the UK and Ireland. Sheffield, UK’s JRI Orthopaedics is a leading manufacturer and supplier of joint repair and replacement products used primarily in knee and hip replacement surgeries. The customized Mobelife solution for hip revisions will be added to JRI’s existing lower limb portfolio, which currently offers an exceptionally comprehensive range of implants and instruments. In addition to the new Mobelife customized implants, JRI will continue to offer the well-known and respected Furlong hip stem.
Additionally, Materialise has just announced a collaboration with Australia’s Global Orthopaedic Technology to include the Materialise Knee Guide System in their catalogue of knee and joint replacement options. The Materialise Knee Guide System allows surgeons to accurately pre-plan knee surgeries using a specific patient’s anatomy and the damaged areas that need to be corrected. This is done with their user-friendly 3D surgical planning software that will generate 3D printable surgical guides from MRI data designed specifically for each individual patient’s body. These patient-specific guides are part of a standard pre-operative plan and used during surgery to reduce procedure time.
“The team at Global is committed to offering Australia’s finest surgeons with new and innovative solutions that can meet their needs, for the benefit of their patients. That’s why we are pleased to be partnering with Materialise, for the use of their 3D medical image-based and printing technology for local surgeons utilizing Global’s APEX™ knee implant. The ability for our surgeons to pre-operatively plan and use patient-specific guides based on their MRI, will deliver optimal clinical outcomes and enhance the patient’s overall satisfaction,” said Global Chief Executive Officer Andrew Fox-Smith.
Significantly, especially in the case of the Mobelife and JRI partnership, is the ability for Materialise to maintain a close working relationship between the surgeon and Mobelife’s expert team. Open channels of communication between doctor and Mobelife is essential for the success of their aMace Acetabular Revision System. Not only are the knee and joint replacements customized to each individual patient’s needs, but Mobelife also takes into consideration the needs of specific surgeons and their preferred surgical techniques.
Let’s hear your thoughts on this partnership. Discuss in the Materialise and Mobelife forum thread on 3DPB.com.