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Implant Direct
Start date: Sep 1, 2012, End date: Aug 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

ImplantDirect will create a cost-effective, faster manufacturing route for orthopaedic, maxillofacial or trauma implants, tailored to the individual needs of patients. The overall project aims are to improve the quality of the implants, reduce the recovery time, improve the quality of life for the patients and reduce the healthcare costs. This will be achieved by allowing surgeons to personalise the implants to fit the patient and the individual trauma, thus reducing the need for revisions, the length of surgery time and the recovery time of the patient. While the technology is available and can deliver the well-recognised benefits of using personalised implants, the number of clinical cases is still limited. The main reasons that the technology has not been widely applied for treatment in hospitals, are the complexity of the delivery process, the high cost of implants and the lack of human and technological resources in the area of biomodelling in hospitals. Especially, the multidisciplinary communication among radiologists, surgeons, and biomedical engineers, which is always needed during the design and manufacturing steps of a patient specific implant. In addition, the optimal solutions and funding for investment of hardware and software are not always available. The work to be undertaken in ImplantDirect will help overcome these issues by the realisation of two key innovations:1) An innovative software solution that will allow the surgeon to directly design the ‘best’ (not limited by existing manufacturing techniques) implant shape for his patients, based on CT-scan data, which will then allow implant creation using the flexible Rapid Manufacturing technique of Selective Laser Melting.2) Develop the Selective Laser Melting process and post-processing necessary to deliver functional Ti6Al4V personalised implants within 3 days from receiving the designs from innovation 1.
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