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 Deep stimulation improves cognitive control by augmenting brain rhythms
04.04.2019 | Picower Institute at MIT

nachricht Black nanoparticles slow the growth of tumors
04.04.2019 | Technische Universität München

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: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>