In hospitals, patient-specific implants are often required, in particular, as a result of accidents, tumor resections or congenital defects. Developed at Fraunhofer ILT, Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) can be used to produce individual bioresorbable implants accurately with very large geometric freedom. In addition, the use of the laser significantly reduces time and costs. On the basis of patient-specific data, for example, individual dentures, artificial hip joints or customized bone substitutes can be manufactured using this laser-based 3D printing. Re-sizing or removing implants are not needed thanks to the use of bioresorbable materials.
Complex internal structures can be used to produce implants with bone-adapted stiffness. By integrating defined pores, research has been able to improve the ingrowth behavior of the bone. For example, Fraunhofer ILT is working with medical professionals to develop additively manufactured vertebral body implants that are individually designed and locally adapted for their geometry, rigidity and structure. This significantly reduces the implant failure of cages – inserts for intervertebral spaces.
The range of services includes constructive design, individualized design and process development for the additive manufacturing of (individual) implants using LPBF within the framework of feasibility studies as well as individual consultation.