China approves use of Additive Manufactured hip joints

September 8, 2015

China’s State Food and Drug Administration is reported to have approved the use of replacement hip joints made in China by Additive Manufacturing.

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Developed by Peking University Third Hospital and AK Medical, China’s largest manufacturer of artificial joints, the product is the first 3D printed artificial hip joint to be registered in the country after passing clinical trials.

Additive Manufacturing of medical devices has been the focus of research for a number of years in China. Professor Zhang Ke at Peking University Third Hospital has been developing and experimenting with 3D printed hip implants since 2009. In 2012, some 32 individual patients received 3D printed hip implants with the results being documented via clinical observation.

The demand for hip replacements is growing in China. “Artificial joint replacement has reached 400,000 units per year, growing at a rate of more than 30%,” stated Professor Zhang Ke. Currently, the cost of imported implants is around 70% of the total cost of the procedure. “Using 3D printing will greatly reduce the patient’s medical costs,” added Professor Zhang Ke.

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