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Man Receives 3-D Printed Skull Implant

Update Date: Mar 09, 2013 02:00 PM EST

3-D has moved past movie screens and into the hard skulls of the human head. According to Oxford Performance Materials, a company based in Connecticut, a man is recovering from a surgery that placed a 3-D printed implant on 75 percent of his skull. This new wave of technology will definitely change the medical and technology fields.

The man, who remains anonymous, had his skull scanned so that OPM could create an implant specifically for him by using 3-D printing technology. 3-D printing technology works by using the scanned image, creating a 3-D replica of the picture and then using a molding machine to achieve the actual product. Although this process sounds complicated, the President and Chief Executive of OPM, Scott Defelice stated that 3-D implant technology is a lot faster than one would think and thus, it will greatly influence other fields.

"We believe our technology is highly disruptive, and it'll widely affect the orthopedic industry," he said.

Although OPM did not release the details behind the patient's injuries, OPM did inform the public about the procedure it took to create the implant. OPM used OsteoFab Patient Specific Cranial Device, which is an implant that is made from PEKK. PEKK is an ultra high performance polymer and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration before the beginning of the surgery. PEKK is the company's main material in creating different kinds of products.

Furthermore, OPM stated that implants could be made within two weeks after the initial patient's scans, which is an extremely fast turn around time. Each implant would ideally be unique to the particular person.  If this kind of technology is embraced by professionals and patients, it will offer a whole new way for implant surgeries. 

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