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Bone replacement from laser melting
Date:6/16/2010

en for the development of industrial prototypes Selective Laser Melting (SLM): A razor-thin laser beam melts the pulverized material layer-by-layer to structures that may be as delicate as 80 to 100 micrometers.

The patient's computer tomography serves as the template for the precision-fit production of the implants. The work processes from CT imaging, to construction of the implant, through to its completion are coordinated in such precise sequences that the replacement for a defective zygomatic bone can be produced in just a few hours, while a five-centimeter large section of cranium can be done overnight. In addition to the obvious benefits, there is a considerable gain in time during surgery: No custom-fit, degradable implants ever existed before now. During the operation, the surgeon had to cut TCP cubes, or the patient's own previously removed bone material, to size and insert it into the fissure, explains Simon Hges, Project Manager at ILT. In addition, the operations are now fewer in number: Physicians no longer take the bone replacement from the patient's own pelvic bone. Similarly, they can dispense with the countless follow-up operations on children to exchange long-term implants that don't grow as the child matures. We have achieved our project goal: a closed process chain to produce individual bony implants from degradable materials, explains Hges with satisfaction. Now it is up to the project partners which also include implant manufacturers who must turn the results into products.


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Contact: Dipl.-Phys. Simon Hoeges
simon.hoeges@ilt.fraunhofer.de
49-024-189-06360
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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