- News Limited Network
- March 08, 2013 11:31AM
A 3D-printed bone replacement is shown here attached to a model skull. Picture: Oxford Performance Materials Source: Supplied
A 3D-printed skull replacement was inserted in a patient during surgery earlier this week. Picture: Oxford Performance Materials Source: Supplied
“A MAN has had 75 per cent of his skull replaced with a custom-made 3D-printed implant.
The un-named patient in the United States had his head imaged by a 3D scanner before the plastic prosthetic was crafted to suit his features.
Oxford Performance Materials in Connecticut then gained approval from US regulators before the printed bone replacement was inserted in his skull during a surgical procedure earlier this week.
The ground-breaking operation has only now been revealed.
The company says it can now provide the 3D printouts to replace bone damaged by disease or trauma after the US Food and Drug Administration granted approval on February 18.
The implant is more than a simple moulded plastic plate: Tiny surface details are etched into the polyetherketoneketone to encourage the growth of cells and bone.
The company says about 500 people in the US could make use of the technology each month, with recipients ranging from injured construction workers through to wounded soldiers.
It says it can produce an implant within two weeks of obtaining 3D scans of the affected area.