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Taiwan's ITRI Creates 3D Printed Bone Material for Ethnic Chinese People

By Korbin Lan
Published: Dec 27,2017

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan has integrated 3D printing layered manufacturing with metal and composite materials and bionic bone structures to research and develop bone material especially designed for ethnic Chinese people. This technology was successfully transferred into biotechnology last year and is expected to hit the market at the end of 2018.

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According to data findings from ITRI's Industrial Economics and Knowledge(IEK) statistics, the total global bone materials were estimated to cost US$38.4 billion in 2017, and these costs are expected to increase to US$43.31 billion in 2020 with a composite growth rate of 3.8%.

Vice President and General Director of the Biomedical Technology and Device Research Laboratories Chii-Wann Lin pointed out that the R&D chains created by ITRI for this bone material for ethnic Chinese people integrate the fields of 3D printing, materials, and medical treatment, and within eight to twelve hours the printing of this specialized bone materials can be completed. This not only conserves medical resources but also provides patients with a more comfortable and faster medical treatment system.

ITRI's specialized bionic research and development chains make use of ITRI's 3D printing layered manufacturing technology and combine it with metal and ceramic composite materials. Furthermore, from materials to structure, machinery, and patents, it is entirely manufactured in Taiwan. They have successfully created a bone material, which is more hydrophilic and easily fuses with bone. It features characteristics such as a three-dimensional porous structure, hollowness, and ease of fusing with bone, and it has a greater capacity to be used to carry out customized designs and manufacturing in accordance with individual needs.

The traditional bone materials of the past were solid and of heavy quality, and it was easy to cause secondary damage when implanted in the body. Consequently, unless it was the last resort, most people were not willing to conduct the bone implantation surgery. However, the bone material developed by ITRI can easily be used for regeneration of human tissue, enabling the implanted bone materials to become a part of the human body. In addition, this solution only requires minimally invasive surgery.

(TR/ Phil Sweeney)

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