Ceramic Additive ManufacturingMedical AMOrthopedic Implants

OsseoMatrix Introduces First Powder Bed Fusion Process to 3D Print Pure Ceramic CMF Implants

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Dr. Didier Nimal is the founder and CEO of OsseoMatrix. He knows by experience how difficult it is to repair bone losses that range from moderate to severe. He has worked in the medical industry for the Institut Pasteur and then for leading companies in the medical implants sector. He dedicates himself to developing a solution that would be less invasive and less painful for the patient than traditional treatments.

In 2009, he founded OsseoMatrix and invented a direct 3D printing proprietary process for bioceramics. This breakthrough innovation was developed in collaboration with multidisciplinary research teams specialized in biology (CNRS), biomaterials (Ecole des Mines) and process engineering (CEA). It enables the manufacturing of third generation implants. These implants are patient-specific by using medical imaging of the patient, in order to perfectly fit the shape of the bone loss. Their composition is similar to bone mineral and their inner porosity is programmed to guide the bone healing process. They provide an alternative solution to bone graft and the required surgical procedure is minimally invasive. This new approach optimizes the cost and the effectiveness of the treatment of orthopedic and craniomaxillofacial segmental bone losses over 2 cm.

The Technology

OsseoMatrix developed a revolutionary 3D printing process for ceramics. This proprietary technology enables the direct shaping of biological ceramics (hydroxyapatite or tricalcium phosphate) to give them new forms and functions. The process could also be modified to process high performance technical ceramics such as zirconia and alumina.

This unique process enables the “fusion” of the ceramic particles that will be used to create the implant on a bed of ceramic powder, grain after grain and layer after layer. At the end of the manufacturing cycle, the implant is lying amongst the powder that was not agglomerated and that just needs to be eliminated through micro vacuuming.

Thanks to the process developed by Osseomatrix, it is now possible to manufacture extremely complex architectural elements without machining, moulding and treatment in a high-temperature oven. The technology of OsseoMatrix is the only one that enables to comply with the dimensions of the implants throughout each step of designing and manufacturing. The result is the perfect fitting of the manufactured anatomical parts.

The implants have an external architecture that is complex enough to perfectly fit the patient’s anatomy, and an internal architecture featuring a network of porous channels programmed to guide cellular growth inside the material.

Biological properties:

The calcium phosphate-based materials used in this process (like hydroxyapatite or tricalcium phosphate) are very close to the chemical composition of bone mineral. The implant is identified by the cells as a part of the bone (bioactivity) and are guided by its porosity (osteoconduction).

Physical properties:

Thanks to their outstanding physical properties, ceramics are the best implantable materials to replace missing bone parts:

  • corrosion resistance
  • compression resistance
  • thermal insulator
  • electrical insulator
  • non-magnetic (compatible with MRI technology)
  • radiolucency (enables the use of radiology through the implant)
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