Prosperos: Lessons learned for 3D printed implants

by Raymond Bevers, Maastricht University

Prosperos is a 4 year, 4.5M€ project, focussed on developing the next generation of 3D printed implants. The project is funded by the Interreg V Flanders – the Netherlands program. A lot was learned about the technology, the application, and hurdles towards introduction of these implants into the clinic. During this presentation we would like to share the (preliminary) results and the most important lessons learned.

program: https://3dmedicalconference.com/program/

Interview

What drives you?
Knowing that the work I’m doing has the potential to significantly impact patient health and wellbeing through the application of new technology and treatment options.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
This presentation will show what might be possible in the near future of 3D printed medical implants. It is exploring new ways to translate functional requirements into implant design, and how the patient and clinician can benefit from this.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Short run: Surface functionalization of 3D printed implants
Long run: Deformable scaffolds and biodegradable metals.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
These technologies will allow more effective treatments and faster patient recovery, while still allowing future revisions in healthy bone. Overall, this will have a major impact on the quality of life for the patients.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Regulatory approval under the new MDR is at this point the major barrier, but also the purchasing departments in hospitals and reimbursement by health insurance companies. A 3D printed implant is likely more expensive than a traditionally manufactured implant, but the total cost of care might be lower. For every new implant, a cost-effectiveness analysis will need to made to demonstrate if this is the case.

“Special quote”
Healthcare should not be seen as a cost that should be minimized, but as an investment that needs to be optimized (originally by Frans van Houten, Philips)

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