There are currently three million people in the UK who suffer from osteoporosis. Osteoarthritis affects more than 25% of the UK’s over 50s. By 2040, one in ten adults will be diagnosed with diabetes, with a potential impact on the health of eyes or limbs.
While prosthetics and implants are designed to match patients' geometries and native tissue, infection after installation is not uncommon. At present, prosthetics and implants are not particularly cost-effective to install, nor do they have a long lifespan. Researchers at the Healthcare Technologies Institute are working together to make better, longer-lasting prosthetics that will allow patients to return to full function earlier, and help them to maintain quality of life for as long as possible.
3D metal printing
3D metal printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a healthcare revolution. It removes many of the limitations seen in more traditional healthcare manufacturing methods, and opens up the possibilities for innovations that are both structurally and medicinally customised to the patient.
The Centre for Custom Medical Devices (CMD), at the University of Birmingham brings together multidisciplinary expertise to explore the full potential of additive manufacturing in the medical devices sector. CMD will innovate at all stages of the medical device supply chain, from implant simulation and novel designs through to manufacturing prosthetics that overcome healthcare challenges.
For more information, please contact:
Dr Sophie Cox, Lecturer in Healthcare Technologies: S.C.Cox@bham.ac.uk