Cancer Patient Gets 3D-Printed Ribs
October 23rd, 2015 | by Kevin James Krotz
The Cancer Patient Received An Artificial Sternum and RIbs
Lab 22, a laboratory based out of Melbourne, Australia, has created and successfully implanted a set of 3D-printed ribs and sternum into a 54-year-old cancer patient. The male Spanish patient had the artificial internals implanted into his chest cavity at Salamanca University Hospital.
Made from titanium and created using a 3D-printer, the ribs were a major advancement on titanium-plate assembly. The new synthetic ribs are more stable and less likely to detach or deform.
State-Of-The-Art 3D-Printed Implant
The use of 3D-printing allowed the ribs to be customized to the patient, which lowers the risk of the implants from coming loose, something that can happen with typical flat and plate implants in the chest. Using high resolution CT data, the Anatomics team at the Salamanca University Hospital were able to recreate and reconstruct the patient’s sternum and rib cage.
A normal 3D-printer wasn’t quite up to the task of this major medical procedure, instead Lab 22 and the team at the hospital used a $1.3 million Arcam printer to build the implant. Layer by layer, an electron beam created the implant, which was then sent to Spain.
This is just another item in a long list of breakthroughs that have used 3D-printers to achieve. 3D-printing is certainly something that will change how we create everything, from that broken piece on your dishwasher, to the meal you’ll have for dinner. It’s amazing to think of all the possibilities that 3D-printers can bring.