Metal AM implants replace the smallest bones in the human body

News
March 19, 2019

March 19, 2019

It is thought that a pioneering surgical procedure using metal additively manufactured middle ear bones, developed by Prof Mashudu Tshifularo, head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology in the University of Pretoria (UP) Faculty of Health Sciences, in South Africa, may make it possible to cure conductive hearing loss, a middle ear problem caused by congenital birth defects, infection, trauma or metabolic diseases.

The surgery, which can reportedly be performed on any patient, including newborn infants, replaces the ossicles – the three bones that make up the middle ear – with titanium additively manufactured ones. On March 13, 2019, Prof Tshifularo performed the transplant for the third time on a patient born with an underdeveloped middle ear, replacing the hammer, anvil and stirrup ossicles, the smallest bones in the human body, with titanium implants.

“By replacing only the ossicles that aren’t functioning properly, the procedure carries significantly less risk than known prostheses and their associated surgical procedures,” he explained. “We use titanium for this procedure, which is biocompatible. We use an endoscope to do the replacement, so the transplant is expected to be quick, with minimal scarring.”

The surgery also aims to simplify the reconstruction of ossicles during middle ear procedures, such as ossiculoplasty and stapedectomy, in order to increase the chance of success with minimal intrusion trauma. In addition, Prof Tshifularo’s procedure is said to reduce the chance of facial nerve paralysis, which can occur if the facial nerve that passes through the middle ear space is damaged during traditional surgery.

www.up.ac.za

News
March 19, 2019

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF
 

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • The GRCop story: The development, production and Additive Manufacturing of NASA’s rocket engine alloys
  • Formnext 2023: Innovations in metal Additive Manufacturing from the industry’s leading international exhibition
  • Cybersecurity in Additive Manufacturing: Securing the industry’s future
  • Additive Manufacturing in the jewellery industry: exploring the potential of platinum and titanium
  • Mission possible: The five-year plan to gain FAA and EASA acceptance of in-process monitoring

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

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 as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap