Australia’s First 3D Printed Spine Implant

RMIT University in Melbourne has worked with a medical device company and a neurosurgeon to successfully create a 3D printed vertebral cage for a patient with severe back pain.

When an abnormal structure of the fifth lumbar vertebra and severe degeneration of the adjacent disc was causing Amanda Gorvin constant lower back pain she was referred to spine surgery specialist Dr Marc Coughlan, at the North Gosford and Prince of Wales Hospitals.

Coughlan’s opinion was that spinal surgery was an option, but because of the unusual shape of Gorvin’s vertebrae a standard, off-the-shelf implant would possibly only give her slight relief.

He then turned to Melbourne medical device specialists, Anatomics, who worked with Professor Milan Brandt and his team at RMIT’s Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct to design and develop a custom-made titanium spinal implant using 3D printing (or additive manufacturing).


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