LimaCorporate SpA, Udine, Italy, a leading medical device company providing reconstructive and custom-made orthopaedic medical implants, has broken ground on its planned on-site medical Additive Manufacturing facility at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). The facility is believed to be the world’s first hospital-based metal AM facility, and will provide custom implants developed in-line with patient scans taken on-site. It is expected to be operational by 2020, and will serve hospitals in the region prior to widening availability across the USA.
HSS has been sourcing patient-specific custom implants from Lima’s headquarters in Italy since 2016. Lima’s additively manufactured implants, produced using Electron Beam Melting (EBM) on GE Additive’s Arcam systems, feature its proprietary Trabecular Titanium™ biomaterial, which is said to enhance cell migration and vascularisation, facilitating the transport of oxygen, nutrients, ions and bone inducing factors and promoting new bone formation in osseointegration.
It is believed that the close proximity of Lima’s AM capabilities to the HSS care environment will significantly aid practitioners in their treatment of patients. The facility is being constructed at HSS’s main campus on New York City’s Upper East Side, and is set to benefit from a combination of Lima’s advanced technology and experience, and HSS’s expertise in clinical care and bio-mechanical engineering. The collaboration is therefore expected to foster and accelerate innovation in complex orthopaedic joint care, resulting in a range of new products and solutions for patients across the USA.
Leonard Achan, RN, MA, ANP, Chief Innovation Officer at HSS, told Ortho Spine News at the time of the groundbreaking, “HSS and Lima had been working very successfully together on multiple projects under a Master Development Agreement since March 2016, leveraging HSS’ clinical knowledge and expertise and Lima’s technical competencies with Additive Manufacturing to solve musculoskeletal problems. At the same time Lima had placed a strategic emphasis on building its ProMade custom implant business, a market segment that can benefit greatly from use of Additive Manufacturing and that is fairly underserved in the orthopaedic industry.”
“Because of HSS’ unique competency in treating complex joint reconstruction conditions and experience in design and use of custom, patient-specific implant solutions, both organisations saw another opportunity to partner and leverage each other’s complementary talents,” he continued. “The vision for the partnership in this case was (and is) to have a design and production facility located on HSS’ main campus for the purposes of fast, efficient design collaboration and fabrication of devices for the most complex reconstruction conditions. It is expected that this enhanced partnership and collaboration will lead to new innovations in the treatment of complex joint reconstruction.”
“Because of the closer proximity of Lima engineers in the US we anticipate increased interaction between clinicians and designers and a faster design process for each custom case. By fabricating in NYC, it is expected that these devices will avoid time-consuming international transfers and shipping. Finally, leveraging Lima’s competency in Additive Manufacturing will help minimise the need for more time-consuming conventional fabrication methods, allowing for quicker turn-around of devices,” he concluded.