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Additive Manufacturing Systems for Medical Applications

 

Lithoz your reliable partner for medical issues

When it comes to human life and health reliable expert partners are required. Lithoz combines professional expertise with a wide range of products and services. This provides the perfect environment for out-of-the-box innovations and patient-specific medical solutions. We offer and develop individual products for medical professionals, scientists, manufacturers and distributors of medical supplies along the entire process chain.

 

Patient-specific implants, medical devices and surgical instruments made out of ceramics

In contrast to other well established materials such as metals or polymers, bioinert and bioresorbable ceramic materials possess particular properties offering unimagined application options. By applying the Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) we are able to produce customized implants for any purpose, components for medical devices and surgical equipment made out of high-performance ceramic materials.

 

Ceramic materials are ideal for biomedical applications because of their properties

• high mechanical strengh • highly wear-resistant • bioinert or bioresorbable
• low heat conductivity • no artifacts during X-ray or MRI • causes no allergies
•corrosion-resistant • easy to sterilize

• electrically insulating

 

 

LCM-technology for biomedical materials

Excellent surface quality and reproducible, defect free parts are required, the LCM-technology is the first choice. It allows fast and cost-effective design iterations by just editing a CAD file and enables the production of highly complex lattice structures, undercuts and cavities with feature sizes down to 100 μm. A batch-oriented production approach offers the possibility of individualized components with additional advantages of mass production.

 

Ceramic based materials for medical engineering

Lithoz offers its customers a wide range of ceramic based materials especially suited for medical purposes such as:

  • Alumina
  • Zirconia
  • Silicon nitride
  • Tricalcium phosphate

 

As Lithos’ success is based on its innovative capabilities and the continuous development of its products, research and development is one of its core assets. Our open system allows you to process a multitude of customer-specific powders that also can be applied for medical purpose, such as:

  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Biodegradable photopolymers
  • Porcelain
  • Bioactive glass (z.B. Bioglass)
  • Cermets (Composite of ceramics and metall)
  • Polymer-derived ceramics

 

For more information concerning materials for medical applications, please click here

 

Medical application areas for 3D printed ceramics

HIGH-PERFORMANCE CERAMICS FOR MEDICAL DEVICES

Best practice example: pneumatic intracardiac catheder pump (material: alumina)

The intracardiac pump supports the heart to pump blood after a heart surgery or a cardiac infarction. This novel approach developed by the TU Wien and the Vienna Medical University and printed by Lithoz is made of bioinert alumina. Alumina is particularly suitable for the production of medical devices because of its mechanical strengths, good surface roughness and thromboresistance. The device is driven by helium gas and ensures proper blood supply during the healing phase without the need of electrical power.

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Bioinert high-performance ceramics allow the production of components of medical devices that need perfect surface qualities and highest accuracy. For example cell interaction can be improved for parts with direct blood contact in order to avoid thrombo-embolic complications (i.e. blood-clotting).

BIORESORBABLE PATIENT-SPECIFIC IMPLANTS

Best practice example: cranial implant (material: tricalcium phosphate)

This implant is used for bone replacement of parts of the human cranium (e.g. after a severe trauma or trepanation). The geometry of this model is inspired by the cranium with its two layers of cortical bone on the outer side and the highly porous layer of trabecular bone in between. Size and shape of the pores can be varied independently while the interconnectivity of the pores is ensured. The combination of a resorbable material with defined macro porosity enables an ingrowth of bone cells and subsequent vascularisation.

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Tricalcium phosphate (TCP) and hydroxyapatite (HA) are common materials used in bioresorbable implants due to their similarity to the inorganic fraction of bone tissue. By resorption of the material in the body a regrowth of native tissue and thus an ideal healing effect can be achieved without the need for removal of the implant after the healing process. For the designing process data from computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used. Thus, a maximum fit of the implant to the operation site can be achieved.

PERMANENT PATIENT-SPECIFIC IMPLANTS

Best practice example: osteosynthesis plates (material: silicon nitride)

Osteosynthesis plates are used for the surgical treatment of bone fractures in order to bring fractured bone ends together. At the same time the fracture is immobilized during the healing process. Silicon nitride offers very good anti-infective and osseointegrative properties and can be formed using the LCM process almost without hardly any limitations in design. Patient-specific osteosynthesis plates reduce the adaption work during the operation, and thus reduce the time in the operation room. This decreases the risk for the patient due to shorter anesthesia and minimizes costs due to shorter occupation of the operating rooms.

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Zirconia, alumina and silicon nitride are used for permanent implants due to their ability to act as mechanical stabilization and their superior material properties. High mechanical strength, high wear resistance, good body-compatibility, low thermal and electrical conductivity and no artifacts on CT/MRI clearly are the keypoints show the enormous potential of ceramics in medical engineering.

SCAFFOLDS

Best practice example: Offenporöses Zellscaffold (Material: Tricalciumphosphat)

AM is well suited to produce ceramic scaffolds that mimic the complex spongy structure of bone, allows it to be both lightweight and strong. Scaffolds allow the in growth of bone cells and provide pathways for vascularization, which accelerates the healing process by enabling the transport of nutrients and removal of metabolic waste. LCM can produce both precisely defined and highly reproducible macro porosity and textured surfaces on the microporous structures, which together can improve osteoblast adhesion and coverage.

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Lithoz LCM-technology enables the fabrication of optimized scaffold designs. Scaffolds are implants with defined geometry and pore structure, that are placed inside the body to treat substantial bone defects caused by tumor removal procedures. Bioresorbable implants are resorbed by the surrounding cells, and thus gradually replaced by endogenous bone tissue. For the development of highly functional scaffolds the pore design is essential to achieve achieving optimized osteoconductivity.


Contact us!

 

Are you interested in learning more about our products and services for medical applications? Get in touch with Dr. Daniel Bomze, our in-house expert for any concern in medical: +43 1 934 66 12 - 219 / [email protected]