MT Ortho, headquartered in Sicily, has been engaged in additive manufacturing (AM) processes since 2014; however, in recent years they have made accelerated progress in the area of customized prostheses and implants, especially with the arrival of Simone Di Bella, a recent graduate in engineering, and two GE Additive Arcam Electron Beam Melting (EBM) machines.
Companies like MT Ortho are now able to produce high-performance yet lightweight parts that may not have been possible at all with more conventional technology. This is especially true for patients today who may need prosthetics or implants after treatment for bone tumors. 3D printing offers a long list of benefits, beginning with giving medical professionals the ability to offer previously unheard of patient-specific treatment—due to the level of customization available. These bespoke medical products can be made faster, inserted more quickly during medical procedures, and with the use of 3D printed medical models, diagnosing, treating, and training for new procedures are improved—along with clinical successes.
Greater affordability in production of customized prostheses is expected to play a huge role in comparison to traditional devices, as well as outcomes. Time in the operating room may be shorter, hospital stays briefer, and with an estimated cost of 13 percent overall in oncology.
In the beginning, the MT Ortho researchers were centered around producing customized cranioplasty and oncological orthopedic protheses, along with working to obtain the European CE mark for numerous devices—including a novel kyphoplasty implant for treatment of vertebral collapse.
“Our goal was to become not only a distributor but also a manufacturer of medical devices. And our vision was to achieve this by creating new, innovative devices with unique features that were only possible by using additive manufacturing and were more compatible with the human bone than metals on the market at the time,” explains Di Bella.
While continuing to focus on orthopedic and oncological solutions, MT Ortho is also now offering a line of customized cranioplasty prostheses. Currently being used in Europe, these devices allow for a more streamlined treatment process, and an improved foundation for osseointegration. The MT Ortho team also specializes in cancer prosthetics for bone sarcomas or chondrosarcomas, collaborating with the Department of Oncological Orthopedics at the National Cancer Institute Regina Elena of Rome (IRE) in Rome.
With CT imaging and 3D printing, bone anatomy can be reconstructed with a structure identical to the patient’s original bone anatomy. Due to their recent partnership with IRE, MT Ortho is now also able to produce surgical aids, cutting guides, and tools for accurate placement of prostheses.
The use of 3D printing for prosthetics and implants has become increasingly popular, with researchers focused on studies involving new workflows for repeatable fabrication, the development of new software for 3D printing cranial implants, and much more.
GE Additive continues to be a dynamic force—and a leader—within the industrial 3D printing industry, opening new facilities for 3D printing with Arcam Electron Beam Melting machines, developing new powder recovery systems for metal printing, and working with a variety of production partner[Source / Images: GE Additive]
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