EOS shows potential of PEEK for use in Laser-Sintered Craniofacial Implants at PD&M/MD&M

Cranial facial implant: made of the high-temperature, biocompatible Material EOS PEEK HP3 Cranial facial implant: made of the high-temperature, biocompatible Material EOS PEEK HP3

The first PEEK craniofacial test implants to be produced with laser-sintering will be presented by EOS, the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, at the co-located Pacific Design & Manufacturing/MD&M West shows at the Anaheim, California Convention Center, February 8-10, 2011.

EOS’ Collaborative Projects Coordinator, Joerg Lenz, will deliver a previously unpublished technical paper on the results of a European Union-funded project called Custom-IMD (www.customimd.eu) on plastic implants, titled “Laser Sintering of PEEK,” during afternoon Session 303 on Wednesday, February 9th.  The test implants were fabricated in Germany using the EOSINT P 800 system (the first laser-sintering system worldwide operating at up to 385 degrees C for processing high-performance polymers). The implants will be on display at EOS booth #3600 after Lenz’s presentation.

High-temperature, biocompatible PEEK (Polyaryletherketone) material is increasingly being used as an alternative to titanium for craniofacial implants (produced from CT-scan geometry) for patients with head injuries or congenital deformities. Lenz’s paper documents the first validated in vivo

Conventional manufacturing technology can’t produce patient-customized craniofacial implants, either titanium or PEEK, as economically or in as short a time span as laser-sintering,” says Lenz. “What’s more, EOS technology has enabled us to develop a specific geometry that can only be realized using additive manufacturing. This new design incorporates a mesh scaffold that promotes improved bone growth and optimizes infiltration with a hydroxyapatite-filled, bio-absorbable polymer.”  The implants displayed at the EOS booth will include one filled with the polymer.

Lenz serves on a number of international standardization organizations, including ASTM Committee F42 on additive manufacturing technologies. PEEK-implant animal studies continue through the EU-funded project, and human trials are planned for the future. The current implant was designed by a team at AZM (the University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands) headed by Dr. Jules Poukens. A patent for the network of holes in the unique mesh scaffold has been applied for.

Scott Killian of Royal Engineered Composites, the first American user of the P 800, will also be at the EOS booth to discuss his company’s use of the machine and show sample geometries of PEEK medical and aerospace parts. There will be a working FORMIGA P 100 laser-sintering system at the booth as well as metal parts produced with direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS).  Lenz and Killian are both available for interviews.

About EOS

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser-sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. EOS completed its business year 2009/2010 with revenues of 64 million Euros. The company employs 300 people worldwide, 250 of them in Krailling near Munich, Germany. For more information visit www.eos.info

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