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Bioresorbable 3D-Printed Implant Prevents Leg Amputations

Image: lenets_tan/Adobe Stock doctors looking at x-rays
In collaboration with Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, Singapore’s Osteopore has developed a PCL-based cage that stimulates regrowth of bone cells and is eventually replaced by the regenerated bone tissue.

Singapore-based Osteopore International has developed in collaboration with Maastricht University Medical Centre (UMC+) in the Netherlands a bioresorbable 3D-printed cage that prevents leg amputations in patients with severe lower leg fractures. The 3D-printed cage helps a patient regenerate new bone cells and has been successfully designed and implanted in its first patient in the Netherlands. 

Manufactured in Singapore, and developed with Osteopore's proprietary 3D-printing and materials technology, the cage is made of biodegradable material and is customized based on a computed tomography (CT) scan of the patient's lower leg. This 3D-printed cage stimulates the patient's new bone cells to grow within it, eventually breaks down into water and carbon dioxide and is replaced by the patient's own regrown bone tissue.  

Co-founded by a team of clinicians and engineers, Osteopore specializes in the production of 3D-printed bioresorbable implants fabricated from the FDA-approved polymer polycaprolactone (PCL). The material is bioresorbable, malleable, slow-degrading, and possesses mechanical strength similar to trabecular bone, said Osteopore.

Described as a first-of-its-kind procedure, the 3D-printed cage implanted in the patient is performing as intended, allowing complete bone regrowth, which will gradually replace the cage over a period of four months.

Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster and Osteopore have formed a partnership to assist with upscaling clinical adoption of medical 3D printing and market leadership, added the press release. This enables an established healthcare model among Singapore's hospitals in order to eventually increase the success rate of local clinical cases for medical device regenerative implant solutions. The partnership will also aim to facilitate and grow the clinical base in adoption for 3D-printed bioresorbable implants to achieve better patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs.

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