It looks like 3D printing is going to the dogs!
UK-based company Fusion Implants, a spinoff company from the University of Liverpool, has developed a 3D printed device to help improve surgery for dogs who are suffering from knee injuries.
The most common form of orthopedic problems in dogs is known as “rupture of the canine cranial cruciate ligament (CCL).” This condition causes an animal knee pain and lameness. Generally, surgery to correct this involves using a portion of bone removed from the animal’s tibia to restrict the angle of the knee joint. This is then held in place by an implant.
Fusion has developed a revolutionary improvement to this surgery; using 3D printing to create advanced implants that will lead to successful surgeries with better results.
These implants are 3D printed in titanium, and are porous, which allows the bone to grow naturally into the implant. This results in a stronger bone, and much better results.
“The use of 3D printing gives greater design freedom than conventional manufacturing techniques and also allows us to combine solid and porous sections for optimum strength and biological performance,” said Dr. Dan Jones, from the University of Liverpool’s School of Engineering. “Our future plans include working closely with our veterinary surgeon customers to provide the next generation of animal implants. In particular we will be working on a range of hip implants to suit specific breeds.”
Fusion has just received funding from The North West Fund for Venture Capital, which will allow Fusion to produce the 3D printed implants.
This implant is already being sold to veterinary practices in the North West region of England, and Fusion has plans to expand within the coming months.