A cost effective method of producing customised total hip replacement implants has been developed using Additive Manufacturing technology at Malaysia’s Advanced Materials Research Centre, SIRIM Berhad, reports Dr Mohd Afian Omar.
The medical devices market in Malaysia is highly reliant on imports and was reported to be at USD 1.2 billion in 2011 and is estimated to reach USD 1.8 billion in 2016. This is mainly due to the lack of local manufacturers producing medical devices in Malaysia, where for example, only two companies currently produce orthopaedic prosthesis.
Expensive imported products are currently used in Malaysia’s hospitals which can cause a financial burden to many patients. Furthermore the designs of the prosthesis are not necessarily tailored to the Malaysian population which is made up of various ethnic communities.
A team of experts in precision manufacturing, orthopaedic surgeons and materials scientists from SIRIM Berhad, Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara Kuantan, the Medical Faculty of International Islamic University Malaysia and Cyberjaya University College of Medical Science Malaysia have worked together to address these problems. The team has now successfully developed a customised total hip replacement implant using Additive Manufacturing technology. The prototype from this research will be further evaluated in terms of bio-corrosion, fatigue and biocompatibility assessment.
The current techniques for production of total hip replacement include traditional methods such as investment casting, forging and machining. Each of these methods requires finishing enhancement to achieve the final desired properties. Additive Manufacturing in metal represents a transformational option for production of orthopaedic implants, producing a customised net shape product. Using just-in-time manufacturing and delivery, each implant can also be designed, produced and shipped to the surgeon just before the procedure, therefore eliminating the need for hospitals to store multiple implants in inventory.
Dr Mohd Afian Omar: [email protected]
To submit news and articles for publication on Metal Additive Manufacturing email us at info@metal- am.com