At the center Lima will work closely with the hospital’s leading physicians to produce patient-specific implants for a range of orthopedic conditions.
Expected to be in operation by early 2020, the facility will act as a test bed for rolling out its 3D printing services to hospitals across the U.S.
Trabecular Titanium technology that mimics bone
Founded in 1945 in Udine, north-eastern Italy, LimaCorporate has a wealth of experience in the production of orthopedic devices. Its product catalog offers a range of implants suited to the hip, knee and shoulder. 3D printing was introduced to the company in 2007 as the patented “Trabecular Titanium” technology.
Trabecular Titanium technology is Lima’s method of designing and producing pure titanium implants that mimic the natural structure of spongy cancellous (or trabecular) bone. As such, all of Lima’s 3D printed implants are based on a complex lattice structure that reportedly helps to encourage the fixation and regrowth of broken bone tissues.
GE Additive company Arcam has been producing Lima’s Trabecular Titanium products using its EBM technology for years. Recently Dr. Guido Grappiolo, the first surgeon to use a 3D printed Trabecular Titanium (TT) hip cup for a patient in 2007, reported that after 10 years in-situ the implant was still going strong.
Likewise, the Hospital for Special Surgery has a respected legacy as the oldest orthopedic hospital in the U.S. For 9 years in a row, it has ranked no. 1 (above Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic) for Adult Orthopedics in the U.S. News Best Hospitals list.
On-site 3D printing in hospitals
Part of a growing trend in the industry, the introduction of LimaCoporate’s on-site 3D printing facility is an important step forward for the technology’s deeper integration in healthcare.
In March 2018 award winning software company Materialise became the first company to receive FDA clearance for its software intended for 3D printing anatomical models. Now the company is helping OEMs verify their 3D printers for use in hospitals. In addition, Stratasys has been introducing its systems to Veterans Hospitals across the U.S. In the UK, the NHS has supported efforts to bring 3D printing facilities on site, inaugurating such a lab at North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) in February 2018.
For Leonard Achan, Chief Innovation Officer at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery:
“The close integration between surgeons and engineers is invaluable for designing and refining joint replacements and identifying new solutions for the most complex patient cases.”
Luigi Ferrari, CEO of LimaCorporate, adds, “We are proud to be the first company to bring 3D printing of implants directly to a hospital organization, where the collaboration between top ranked surgeons and engineers can drive innovation and easier access to patients in the U.S.”
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Featured image shows Lima and Arcam’s 3D printed hip cup holds ball and socket in place. Photo via Lima Corporate/Arcam