Cancer-stricken sternum replaced with "printed" titanium implant

The Australian company Lab 22 is well known in the world for its unique developments in the field of 3D technologies. Her assets include “printed” heel bones, oral implants for patients suffering from apnea, and even a jet engine. Her latest achievement is a titanium sternum implant, made especially for a patient with chest cancer.

The rib cage has a very complex geometry, so the manufacture of flat plastic implants is very difficult. They wear out over time and need to be replaced.

A team of surgeons at the University Hospital of Salamanca, Spain, concluded that a 3D printed titanium implant would be the best option for their 54-year-old patient with chest sarcoma.

Using a high-resolution tomograph, specialists from Anatomics (Melbourne), at the request of Spanish doctors, made a digital 3D model of the implant. On its basis, Lab 22 developed a design and produced its layer-by-layer printing. The product was delivered to Spain and implanted in the patient's chest. In this case, fragments of bones not affected by the tumor were used.

The operation was successful. The patient was discharged on the 12th day. The cost of the implant was $ 920, 000.