A precise model of the device can be designed by using the integrated process described, as it is reported in the documentation submitted and in the software developed by different partners. In order to create the tri-dimensional geometrical model a CT scan sections are acquired. These sections are then processed with graphical tools (like filtering tools, segmentation tools, and creation of the level nurbs curves) in order to obtain the model and export it to a CAD/CAM system.
The model is then imported with a CAD/CAM system in order to plan and design the prosthetic device. This virtual model is of great interest in surgical planning and could be of a great help for the optimisation of the surgical procedures and of the implant itself.
This model is subjected to a careful numerical investigation, in order to forecast its behaviour during the manufacturing chain, in relation with its casting process and to evaluate reliability of implantats in a patient, in relation with its interaction with the biological tissues.
After an in depth study of materials' properties, titanium is considered the best solution, because of its good mechanical properties and its excellent bio-compatibility.
Finally the manufacturing process is considered, which is held with a titanium casting and milling machine: a series of prototypes of titanium frameworks are provided. This can be done having a reduction in processing time and without the necessity of highly specialized engineering personnel.
The custom-made titanium devices provided are tested from biomechanical viewpoint, leading to a reliable and direct use in clinical practice.
In order to satisfy medical requirements, a great importance is given to the global quality system.
Many numerical simulations are performed during all project's activities, i.e. in order to develop the implant model, to control the quality of the titanium casting process and to analyse the functional response of the implant. These analyses are of primary importance for the control of all the results of the project.
The product, as described above, is documented in detail in the progress reports.
The objective of the project is the development of an automatic low-cost processing procedure to manufacture individual implants as well as custom made prostheses and operation stencils based on computer tomography and magnetic resonance data. Geometrically precise models can be designed on the basis of computed tomography scans. The models can be manufactured with CAD/CAM systems. Due to these developments, industrial enterprises will be able to cover the medical demands for low-cost individual implants and thus serve an important and growing market in the medical field. One of the leading ideas is the combination of conventional technologies in processing and manufacturing with novel data processing techniques in order to ensure the conformity with the medically required precision and also maintain an overall low cost. The processing-chain: DATA ACQUISITION - IMAGE PROCESSING GEOMETRY PROCESSING - MANUFACTURING - SURGICAL PLANNING AIDS must be defined and coordinated with medical results. For an efficient processing, the single steps need to be automated and different modules will be distributed. The flow chart and guidelines concerning the processing-chain will follow a protocol and will be standardized, so that single steps can be backtraced. This proposal is a continuing of the work done in the CRAFT project (BRST-CT955001) which was stopped due to problems with the administrative partner. The rest of the consortium who has shown from the beginning of the project determination to carry out the work programme and believe in the outcome, have decided, after consulting the administrative officer from the Commission, to make a new proposal.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts