3D Printed Biomechanically Optimized Metal Scaffolds for Bone Regeneration. A Pilot Study.
Most bone defects in long bones are usually resolved thanks to the ability of bone tissue to repair itself. However, there are cases in which this does not happen, resulting in disability and reaching the indication of amputation of the affected limb without replacement to restore form and function. Tissue engineering is an interesting tool for stimulating healthy tissue regeneration processes by using scaffolding structures similar to the extracellular structure of the tissue. The present work proposes a pilot trial for a bone implant development for critical defects printed on porous metal from additive manufacturing and the analysis of its response in large animals under the design of an ad-hoc protocol. As a first step an ovine femur was scanned and a 3D printing was carried out and used as a model on which the critical defect to be studied was designed with the cutting guides to generate it. Then, the implant in Co-Cr-Mo porous that would replace it and the necessary fasteners with the associated surgical technique were designed. Finally, the implant printing was performed following the natural shape of the bone and the elected 3D structure based on the optimization of its mechanical properties. As a result, a successful incorporation into the animal with the critical defect generated and an immediate functional response were find out: load support at zero time and walk completely normal one week after the intervention, which was maintained in the subsequent 4 months.