(Video on 3D Printed Artificial and Osteo-conductive Bone-grafts for Speedy Orthopaedic Treatment, Chinese only)
The application of 3D printing technology is growing more diverse with orthopaedic treatment being one of its latest novel applications. HKPC has recently successfully developed a novel 3D printing system for artificial and osteo-conductive bone-graft fabrication. It uses Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing technology to heat up a mixture of two biocompatible materials, Polycaprolactone (PCL) and Hydroxyaptite (HA), to semi-liquid state and deposit it in ultra-fine beads along the extrusion path into the required shape before implanting it in the patient’s body. Apart from providing support, it can also encourage the proliferation of bone cells in the affected parts and allow for the gradual growth of new bones in the fractured areas. Medical practitioners can change the ratio of PCL and HA to cater the different needs of patient and fabricate bone graft materials that can better serve treatment and patient needs.
The HKPC-developed 3D printing system for artificial and osteo-conductive bone-graft fabrication first uses CT scanning to collect 3D images of the patients’ fractured areas. Then, it amends and selects the 3D image for dissection before using the 3D printing system to fabricate the artificial bone-graft. The fabricated bone parts are primarily used in bones. Also, the biomaterial applied (PCL-HA) is confirmed to be compatible with human body and there is no need for additional surgery to replace or remove the bone-graft implanted. Moreover, the time required for the absorption and discharge of the bone parts differs over the size of the wound and the surface area and thickness of the bone part.
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