Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

CUSTOM-IMD — Result In Brief

Project ID: 26599
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Spain

Custom-made implants for the face and spine

Dentures are custom-made to fit individuals. European scientists developed novel materials, processes and protocols to make the same possible for craniofacial and spine implants with important potential for extension to other areas.
Custom-made implants for the face and spine
Medical implants are used to repair or restore lost function, to deliver drugs and even to monitor body processes. Implants that restore function or provide support have been produced for many parts of the body, from well known dental and hip implants to craniofacial, spine and retinal ones.

Obviously, the ability to customise implants would be a major step forward in improving quality of life for patients. Much as making dentures is not a one-size-fits-all business, European researchers sought to make fully customised medical implants available to surgeons within 48 hours of receiving an order.

The Custom-IMD project exploited rapid manufacturing (RM), with several technologies being developed to shorten the design and production cycle and which promise to revolutionise manufacturing in general.

RM technologies rely on additive methods whereby material is successively added in layers only where needed. In this way, the geometry of a part is formed without using a mould or die. Custom-IMD scientists thus developed novel biomaterials for use in RM processes as well as the protocols for implant customisation and supply chain management. Four demonstrators including three medical implants and the e-supply chain were delivered together with a socioeconomic and environmental evaluation of the products and processes.

Implementation of Custom-IMD technology is expected to not only improve the quality of life for EU citizens but also to provide important cost savings for the EU healthcare system.

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