In August a patient at the University Hospital Basel was implanted with an artificial skullcap that was manufactured specifically for him at the USB. After several years of research and development, the USB has succeed in using 3D printing to produce implants that meet the requirements of international medical device standards.
The patient in question, who suffered a stroke in 2019, had to have part of his skull removed as a result of the treatment. However, this began to disintegrate over time, causing significant discomfort and deformity of the skull. This is where the multidisciplinary team led by Prof. Raphael Guzman and Prof. Florian Thieringer came in. Working together, they were able to design an artificial skullcap that was not only perfectly tailored to the patient, but also in compliance with legal requirements.
The realization of the project was only possible through the collaboration of experts from different disciplines. In addition to specialists from the USB, biomedical engineers from the University of Basel and the School of Life Sciences, as well as experts from POC APP AG were also involved. The central concern was to comply with the Swiss Medical Device Ordinance as well as to meet the standards of the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) of the EU.
In-house production of implants offers USB significant benefits, including better coordination between teams and significant material savings. Following this success, the hospital plans to further expand its use of 3D printing techniques. The vision ranges from complex facial reconstructions to spinal implants.
“This excellent outcome for our patient shows that our years of research have paid off,” says Prof. Florian Thieringer.
At this point, a few weeks after the operation, the patient is in stable condition and looks to the future with hope as he continues to receive close care from the medical staff.
As early as 2021, a Swedish university hospital implanted a 3D-printed skull plate.