Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High tech implants to aid facial reconstruction to be developed at Loughborough University

27.08.2004


Loughborough University researchers have been awarded more than £200,000 to develop state-of-the-art tailor made implants for people requiring facial reconstructive surgery.



The Department of Health’s ‘New and Emerging Applications of Technology’ (NEAT) funding programme has awarded the University £234,761 for the 2 year project, which is being led by Dr Russell Harris of the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

The aim of the work is to research and develop a technique that will provide the rapid and direct manufacture of tailor made implants for bone replacement and tissue growth. The project could help a wide range of people, including victims of bone disease, oral cancer, congenital defects and traumatic injuries.


Patients currently requiring reconstructive surgery may have to wait several weeks for a customised implant to be made. This is because, with conventional manufacturing techniques, implants have to be moulded, cut, or formed, which is time consuming and costly. These conventional techniques also impose geometrical restrictions on the shapes that can be produced and means the fit and placement of implants may be compromised.

The implant production method being investigated by Dr Harris is called Laser Sintering, which belongs to a family of techniques known as Rapid Prototyping (RP). The use of RP allows physical parts to be created immediately, directly and automatically from a 3D representation, known as a 3D computer-aided-design (CAD) model. It works by breaking down a 3D model into 2D sections which are built up layer by layer by high tech machines. In Laser Sintering the 2D layers are built up by selectively binding powder particles together using a laser in just a few hours.

Data from CT or MRI scans of facial injuries are utilised to create a 3D model of the required implant. This means that the implant would be tailor made to fit exactly to a patient’s requirements in terms of shape, performance and integration into existing structures within the body, using data collected by non-intrusive scans.

The new implants would be made from a mixture of a polymer and a bioactive ceramic. Bioactive ceramics are used for bone implants and tissue scaffolds due to their ability to bond with natural bone. An important such material, hydroxyapatite, can be combined with polymers to form a material with appropriate stiffness, toughness and bioactivity for use in the body.

Dr Harris said: “The requirement for bone replacement/reconstruction due to traumatic injury or radical surgery has, of course, long been required by patients. And materials have now been developed that are capable of bonding with natural bone to allow such repair. “Through research and development these materials could be harnessed with a high tech but established production technique for the direct, quick, custom manufacture of bone implants that will integrate themselves within the body, and require only one surgical operation. This new technique would reduce patient distress; patient risk; operative procedures; costs and waiting times, whilst increasing implant performance.

“The realisation of such implant production techniques would revolutionize the application and possible treatment routes for the immediate and long term benefit of patients, clinicians and healthcare providers.”

Dr Harris will be working with several other organisations on the project, including Queen Mary University of London, University College London and the Facial Surgery Research Foundation, Saving Faces.

Judy Smyth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lboro.ac.uk
http://www.lboro.ac.uk/service/publicity/news-releases/2004/04_93_bone_implants.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>