The use of additive manufacturing in medicine is tailored through tailor surgery.

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Innovations in 3D Printing for Medical Applications

The field of medicine has seen remarkable advancements in recent years, particularly in the use of 3D printing technology. This revolutionary method allows for the creation of personalized medical devices, such as prosthetics, orthotics, and custom implants, tailored specifically to the needs of individual patients. Additionally, additive manufacturing has proven to be an invaluable tool in complex surgical procedures, enabling the production of intricate models and surgical guides.

One country that has embraced the significance of 3D printing in the medical domain is Spain. Numerous hospitals, universities, research laboratories, and health centers across the nation have adopted this manufacturing approach. Among them is Tailor Surgery, a leading medical facility that harnesses the power of 3D printing to revolutionize the field of orthopedic surgery. In a recent conversation with Dr. Ferran Fillat Gomà, an orthopedic surgeon and traumatologist at Tailor Surgery, we gained insight into the diverse applications of 3D printing in medicine.

Dr. Fillat Gomà’s extensive experience in this field is evident, as he completed his PhD thesis focusing on the utilization of 3D printing in enhancing the diagnosis of proximal humerus fractures. Recognizing the vast potential of this technology in traumatology, he took the initiative to establish the digital surgical planning laboratory, now known as 3DPTLab, at the Research Institute of Parc Taulí Hospital. Alongside his PhD work, Dr. Fillat Gomà has initiated various research projects exploring the clinical applications of 3D printing. Currently, the hospital’s 3D lab is actively involved in over 22 research endeavors, aimed at providing scientific evidence for the implementation of this technology in various medical specialties beyond traumatology.

The establishment of Tailor Surgery itself arose from a genuine clinical need. The team recognized the potential of 3D printing to offer personalized treatments in orthopedic surgery, where standard implants are commonly used. Despite the availability of technology for customization, most surgeries still rely on fitting the patient to the implant. The inherent advantage of 3D printing lies in its ability to create customized implants for each individual patient. By utilizing digital surgery in advance, this technology allows surgeons to anticipate potential challenges and complications before the actual surgery takes place. Consequently, patients benefit from enhanced diagnosis and receive a safer, more accurate, and efficient treatment approach.

However, it is essential to ensure that the use of 3D printing technology in medicine brings added value to the overall process. Applications of 3D printing must demonstrate superior capabilities compared to current standard methods. While numerous applications exist, only those that have shown their value through rigorous scientific evidence are put into practice. Certification for medical use is another crucial factor to consider. In the medical sector, materials used in 3D printing need specific certification to meet safety and efficacy requirements. Commonly used materials include resins, silicones, polyamides, and medical-grade titanium.

Looking towards the future, Dr. Fillat Gomà believes that the use of 3D printing in the medical field will continue to increase in prevalence. As more research groups publish their findings on new applications, the benefits and possibilities offered by this technology in the healthcare sector will become even more apparent. Dr. Fillat Gomà encourages researchers to focus on developing applications that truly benefit the patients and to remain persistent in their pursuit of success.

To learn more about Tailor Surgery and their groundbreaking work in the field of 3D printing in medicine, click here. We would love to hear your thoughts on this innovative approach to healthcare. Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter to receive the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox. You can also find informative videos on our YouTube channel.

*A special thanks to Tailor Surgery for providing the photo credits for this blog post.*

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