One cancer patient has received a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib cage designed as they try and fight the disease.
The patient, from Spain, received the innovative transplant after being diagnosed with a chest wall sarcoma – a type of cancer where a tumour grows, which in this case, was around the rib cage.
The 54-year-old needed part of his rib cage and sternum replaced, and thankfully, medics at Anatomics, a medical company based in Melbourne, Australia, along with his medical team, created and designed the implant.
They then turned to CSIRO’s Lab 22, a 3D printing technology facility to complete the process and print the sternum and partial rib cage, using a printer costing AUD$1.3 million.
This is the first time a patient has ever received a 3D printed rib cage, although 3D printing has been used before.
The patient was well enough to be discharged 12 days after the surgery, and is now recovering well.