Transactions on Additive Manufacturing Meets Medicine
Vol. 5 No. S1 (2023): Trans. AMMM Supplement

Scaffolds, Implants and Drug Delivery Systems, ID 809

Design and additive manufacturing of biodegradable patient-specific implants for bone regeneration

Main Article Content

Marie-Luise Wille (Queensland University of Technology), Sinduja Suresh (Queensland University of Technology), Buddhi Herath (Queensland University of Technology), Markus Laubach (Musculoskeletal University Center Munich (MUM), LMU University Hospital, Germany), Dietmar Hutmacher (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)


Critical-sized bone defects due to trauma, infection, or tumour resection are defined as the smallest defect that will not heal over one’s lifetime without (surgical) treatment [1]. Despite multiple innovations in the 21st century, current treatment options have significant limitations and there is a strong demand for clinically translatable treatment alternatives, such as scaffold-guided bone regeneration (SGBR) [2]. Our interdisciplinary team has studied tissue engineering applications with biodegradable 3D-printed scaffolds for critical-sized bone defects over the last 17 years in pre-clinical trials and demonstrated successful bone regeneration [3–5]. These findings were recently translated into a clinical setting, and we were able to provide bespoke SGBR solutions for selected patients in Australia and Germany who suffered critical-sized bone defects of 10 to 34 cm [6,7]. The scaffolds were designed in close collaboration with the treating surgeon and prototyped in-house using fused filament fabrication with polylactic acid (PLA) and finally 3D-printed using medical-grade polycaprolactone tricalcium phosphate, sterilized, and shipped to the hospital by a certified supplier.  Here, we are presenting the design process from the computed tomography images to the final prototype along with its challenges and resulting opportunities for a series of clinical cases where a patient-specific 3D-printed scaffold was required.

Author’s statement
Conflict of interest: D. W. Hutmacher is a cofounder and shareholder of Osteopore International Pty Ltd. The other authors state no conflict of interest. Informed consent: Informed consent has been obtained from all individuals included in this study. Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank Drs M. Wagels, B. M. Holzapfel, and F. Hildebrand for their clinical feedback and opportunities. Research funding: This work was supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Multiscale 3D Imaging, Modelling, and Manufacturing (M3D Innovation) [IC 180100008], and the Jamieson Trauma Institute (PhD scholarship for B. Herath), a collaboration of Metro North Hospital and Health Service and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.

[1] Schemitsch EH, J Orthop Trauma. 2017, 31 Suppl 5:S20-S22.
[2] Laubach M, et al., J Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(7), 341
[3] Sparks DS, et al., Nat Protoc. 2020, 15(3):877-924.
[4] Sparks DS, et al., Sci Adv. 2023, 9(18)
[5] Berner A, et al., Acta Biomater. 2013, 9(8):7874-84.
[6] Castrisos G, et al., J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2022,75(7):2108-2118
[7] Laubach M, et al., J Orthop Translat. 2022, 16;34:73-84

Article Details

How to Cite

Wille, M.-L., Suresh, S., Herath, B., Laubach, M., & Hutmacher, D. (2023). Design and additive manufacturing of biodegradable patient-specific implants for bone regeneration. Transactions on Additive Manufacturing Meets Medicine, 5(S1), 809.

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