Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, Germany have developed a custom-fit degradable implant for filling bone defects after craniofacial surgery. Currently defects are filled with filling material or previously removed bone. The new method uses a CT image template and a technique called selective laser melting to create a perfectly fitting implant consisting of a porous material where adjacent bone can grow into. The materials used, synthetic polylactide and tricalcium phosphate, are resorbed as the bone grows, giving rise to the name “Resobone”. The whole process from obtaining imaging of the patient’s anatomy to having an implant ready can be done in just a few hours. The technique can be used to close defects of up to 25 square centimeters in size.
Press release: Bone replacement from laser melting