Additive Manufacturing helps with ear implants and facial reconstruction

April 8, 2014

Germany’s Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH), an independent non-profit research institute based in Hannover, has announced it has been developing Additive Manufacturing technology to help with a number of medical procedures.   

LZH_Cochlea_steele_280_0

This laser-additive manufactured micro-actor for cochlea

implants can change its shape due to temperature changes

One of the projects reported is the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) to simulate the procedure for surgeons working on hearing impaired patients. Inserting an implant into the tiny cochlea requires utmost care and during the operation the surgeon runs the risk of destroying intact sensory cells, which could result in further deterioration of the patients hearing.

The micrometer-small cochlea replicas that the surgeons use to practice the procedure are manufactured by the LZH’s Photonic System Technology Group using AM technology. The Surface Technology Group at LZH, in cooperation with the Hannover Medical School (MHH), is also developing implants that change their shape due to temperature changes during the surgery, thus making the insertion much easier.

In another project, AM has been used for producing temporary magnesium scaffolds. These magnesium scaffolds, once implanted, are slowly and gradually decomposed by the human body. The scaffolds are particularly suited for reconstructing defects of the facial skull because their shape can be matched to the face of the patient. Directly after the surgery the bioresorbable implants stabilise the tissue above. Over time they make room for new bone cell growth.

www.lzh.de 

Useful links

To submit news and articles for publication on Metal Additive Manufacturing email us at [email protected]

Metal-AM homepage | Latest News | Articles | Subscribe to our free e-newsletter

Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 196-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Sintavia: New facility signals the move towards volume metal Additive Manufacturing for aerospace and defence
  • Thinking about metal Binder Jetting or FFF? Here is (almost) everything you need to know about sintering
  • Metal Binder Jetting and FFF: Considerations when planning a debinding and sintering facility for volume production
  • Velo3D: How a ‘support-free’ Laser Powder Bed Fusion process could remove roadblocks to serial Additive Manufacturing
  • New horizons for Additive Manufacturing in the oil, gas and maritime industries
  • Redesigned for Additive Manufacturing: Serial production of a new fuel swirler for Siemens gas turbine
  • Understanding metal powder requirements for Additive Manufacturing: Views from the industry
  • Towards a true digital twin for the metal Additive Manufacturing process
  • > More information

Latest news

    E-newsletter

    Sign up to our e-newsletter, sent weekly to AM professionals and end-users around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of Metal AM magazine is available.

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:
    • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news
    All past issues are available to download in PDF format, in either single page format or as double-page “spreads” for viewing on large monitors. All downloads are free of charge. Go to archive...

    Connect with us

    Visit our social media channels and sign up to our e-newsletter