Chief Investigator, Distinguished Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher has used 3D printing to create a chest implant using 90 per cent of the patient’s own tissue, in order to correct a birth defect called funnel or sunken chest. This condition causes the ribs and sternum to grow inwards. The 3D printed implant was made from porous, biodegradable material, allowing the implant to be flexible so the patient can move around without it changing change or breaking.
“The implant was made to fit precisely over the chest deformity to allow the patient’s own blood vessels and fat tissue to grow into the implant to create a lasting normal shaped chest,” Professor Hutmacher said.
This work involved extensive planning to design and additively biomanufacturer the implant. It involved clinicians and researchers from Princess Alexandra Hospital, Translational Research Institute (TRI), Australian Centre for Complex Integrated Surgical Solutions (ACCISS), ARC ITTC in Additive Biomanufacturing and German company BellaSeno GmbH.