Comparing different direct metal printed resorbable medical implants – Presented by Holger Jahr, Univ. Hospital RWTH Aachen

Comparing different direct metal printed resorbable medical implants – Presented by Holger Jahr, Univ. Hospital RWTH Aachen, at the 3D Medical Conference, which takes place on January 30-31, 2019, at MECC Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Bone repair biomaterials should possess bone-mimicking fully interconnected porous structures of relevant mechanical properties. Ideally, this is combined with an appropriate biodegradation behavior to enable full regeneration and subsequent biological remodeling. Recent advances in additive manufacturing resulted in biomaterials satisfying the former two requirements, while simultaneously satisfying the latter requirement remains challenging.

A proper biodegradation profile is a crucial requirement of additively manufactured porous metallic implants. Currently, most degradable metallic bone repair biomaterials are based on magnesium alloys, which tend to degrade too fast and under hydrogen gas evolution. In contrast, electrochemical performance and a longitudinal evaluation of the in vitro biodegradation behavior with corresponding mechanical properties make smart topologically ordered direct metal printed porous iron scaffolds attractive solutions.

The majority of literature reports iron implants generally as safe, in vitro and in vivo, but we cannot confirm this. While iron-based cardiovascular implants are being marketed as medical devices, they appear to produce voluminous and potentially hazardous oxide products in the arterial wall. We thus clearly need better in vivo-like testing methods to facilitate conscious early decision making in the product development pipeline and improved standards for testing and reporting.

Is zinc the future in porous metallic Orthopedic medical devices?

What drives you?
Curiosity and the ambition to change the future orthopedic implant landscape.

What are the three things you would take with you on a deserted island?
My Swiss Army Knife, my Estwing rock pick and my wife.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
In “my” field, the near future will bring smarter designed implants and novel biodegradable alloys. Robotics will significantly contribute to implant production, surgery and patient rehabilitation in future medical care.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
In Orthopedics, personalized and purpose-optimized biodegradable implants will provide solutions for yet unmet surgical needs and will contribute to reduced implant infection rates. Robotics and e-Healthcare solutions will improve surgical and rehabilitation outcomes alike, answering the potential future shortage in healthcare personnel and further facilitate a truly individualized healthcare system.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Economic considerations and ethical boundaries.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
To learn about future opportunities and challenges when additively manufacturing biodegradable metal implants and about biological considerations in biocompatibility testing.

“Special Quote”
Life is too short for poor healthcare.

About Holger Jahr
Dr. Jahr is an Associated Professor and Head Biomaterials and Molecular Musculoskeletal Research at the Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen University. As trained microbiologist/gene technologist he received this PhD from the University in Bielefeld, before accepting a position at the Dept. of Molecular Genetics, University of Groningen. He worked at Stanford Medical Center and for the Depts. of Internal Medicine and Orthopedics of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam. He further was Head of Research of the Dept. of Orthopedics in Aachen and holds guest lecturer positions at Maastricht University and TU Delft. In 2017, he received the Klee Family Medical Technology Innovation Award for his work on novel metal implants. He is also Vice President of the European Orthopaedic Research Society (EORS) and work package leader of the Interreg project PRosPERoS, aiming at developing new patient-specific implants.

About Univ. Hospital RWTH Aachen
As a maximum-care teaching hospital, we at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen offer you first-class medicine with a human face. Bundling patient care, research and teaching under one roof – a concept which is unique both architecturally and in terms of organisation – facilitates intensive interdisciplinary dialogue and a dense clinical and scientific network.

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