First in the World: Customized 3D-printed Titanium Sternum to Sarcoma Patient


The advancement on 3D printing technology has been rapidly progressing. It has been helping people who need strong medical assistance on their health. Numerous stories have been told especially in the vast field of medicine on how 3D printing has helped patients on their severe/critical medical conditions. And this continues to grow with the help of medical doctors, inventors, innovators, designers, etc. as they are the creative thinkers behind the triumph of 3D printing technology.

A 54 year old Spanish patient is suffering from sarcoma - a rare kind of cancer. Sarcoma is a malignant tumor of the tissues where tumor is most common on the bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, nerve fats and blood vessels.  Sarcomas grow on the cells that connect or support other kind of tissues in the body.  Having this rare type of cancer is very difficult especially to the 54 year old Spanish patient who has to undergo operation.  

The patient’s tumor grew around the sternum compromising parts of the rib cage which should be removed. The surgical team at the University Hospital of Salamanca ordered from Melbourne-based Company Anatomics an implant project that can replace the bone structure of the patient. Because of high resolution CT scans, they have been able to replicate the removed rib cage and sternum of the patient. The bone structure was created using the $ 1.3 million electron beam Arcam 3D printer. This is the first customized 3D printed titanium sternum and rib cage replacement that has been given to patient and another first in the world.  

As of today, the patient is going well and is recovering from the surgery.

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