New Jersey Man Receives 3D Printed PEEK Skull Implant

Share this Article

3D printing is in the news so often today that it is not uncommon now for it to come up in conversation with just about anyone. And while the naysaying has abated quite a bit due to the sheer amount of evidence regarding its usefulness, it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall should someone question 3D printing while speaking to 35-year-old Chris Cahill. Sporting a 3D printed implant in his skull, Cahill is a walking tribute to the wonders of medicine and progressive technology.

The New Jersey native suffered a severe head trauma and was in a coma for two months. As doctors worked to eliminate the life-threatening swelling in Cahill’s brain, his skull developed an infection. That put an end to their hopes for using his own skull bone in a reconstruction surgery. Dr. Gaurav Gupta, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, examined their options. He determined that the best alternative would be to explore 3D printing. We have previously followed instances of 3D printing for the creation of titanium skull implants, as well as use in surgical models to act as guides in nasal endoscopy surgeries and in the reshaping of a baby’s head.

[Photo: John Emerson]

During the process for reconstructing Cahill’s skull, the medical team started by making a 3D printed model, as well as an implant, customized to fit the missing area of Cahill’s skull—as seen on his original CT scan.

“The model was used for practice,” said Dr. Gupta, Director, Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. “Once the skull implant was printed, millimeter by millimeter, we matched the new implant to the skull model, ensuring a perfect fit.”

They actually made two implants, due to the volume of the skull area, and then fused them together.

The patient was a little surprised to learn that he would be receiving a 3D printed implant.

“I wondered, can they really do this?” said Cahill. “But Dr. Gupta saved my life once and I trusted him completely.”

Dr. Gupta worked with DePuy Synthes CMF for 3D printing the skull implant; DePuy Synthes has, for its part, been increasing use of 3D technologies in medical applications. They used a material called PEEK, also known as polyetheretherketone. PEEK is well-known for strength and stability, as well as being compatible for a medical situation like this—and certainly better than previous methods with the use of traditionally created metal mesh.

Dr. Gupta and his patient. [Photo: John Emerson]

Using the CT scans, the team was able to make a patient-specific implant despite the substantial damage to Cahill’s scull. DePuy Synthes sees 3D printing as beneficial in a case like this as the implant fits more snugly due to customization, less time is spent in the operating room, and in the end, the patient looks better too with the incision scar hiding behind the hair line. They are also resistant in the case of an impact.

The surgery to insert the implant took only about four hours, and was very successful.

“I was nervous about what I would look like after the surgery,” said Cahill. “I was happy I looked exactly the same and felt like myself again.”

Find out more about Robert Wood Johnson Medical School here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Discuss in the 3D Printed Skull Implant forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Newswise]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

New Partnership: BEGO’s Dental Materials Allow Formlabs Customers to 3D Print Crowns & Bridges

Kentucky’s Somerset Community College 3D Prints in Metal on Modified FDM 3D Printers that Cost $600 Each



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

5 3D Printing for Agriculture Applications

Agriculture stands to gain more from technology than many other industries. Farming is critical to both an individual farmer’s livelihood and to the entirety of society. As such, everyone benefits...

CIA’s In-Q-Tel Invests in Markforged

Boston-based startup Markforged is growing rapidly, pulling in a whopping $82 million investment in March 2019. Now, the 3D printer manufacturer is getting some additional funds, though this time the...

Ti6Al4V in Selective Laser Melting: Analysis of Laser Polishing Techniques

Chinese researchers are expanding on new materials and technology for improving surface quality in metal 3D printing, outlining their findings in ‘Laser Polishing of Ti6Al4V Fabricated by Selective Laser Melting.’...

Tennessee Researchers Analyze Low-Cost Metal 3D Printing with Composites

Tennessee researchers have come together to pursue a more in-depth look at the science of 3D printing with metal, outlining their findings in the recently published ‘Dimensional Analysis of Metal...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!