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AI-Powered 3D Printing Redefines Implant Surgery

April 8, 2024
Contributed by: Drex DeFord
Surgeons at the Sint-MaartensKliniek in the Netherlands utilized a 3D-printed, patient-specific hip implant from Materialise for a complex case, highlighting a growing trend towards custom medical devices. The use of off-the-shelf implants, which come in generic sizes, often leads to poor outcomes and additional surgeries due to improper fit. The industry has seen a significant increase in demand for custom 3D-printed implants and surgical guides, spurred by advancements in software from companies like Axial3D and Materialise that have reduced the time needed to convert patient scans into accurate 3D models from weeks to a day or less. This shift towards personalization is being driven by the potential for better surgical outcomes, reduced operation times, and quicker recovery periods. Major medical device makers are investing in patient-specific products, with innovations in AI and machine learning streamlining the design process and potentially reducing production times. Despite the advantages, the adoption of patient-specific implants faces challenges, including the need for a robust supply chain and regulatory guidance, with the FDA expected to issue guidelines on in-hospital 3D printing of implants in 2024.
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