More effective surgery through improved alignment of bone segments

Iwan Dobbe is bringing the benefits of modern 3D image analysis and printing technology to the clinic. As a researcher at the Biomedical Engineering and Physics department at AMC he devised a method for the design and production of a patient-specific plate for the alignment of bone segments. It requires a single CT scan, preoperative 3D planning, and 3D printing of a titanium positioning and fixation plate. As a result surgeons are able to accurately position bone segments while avoiding the use of intraoperative navigation equipment for the complicated task of 3D repositioning.

The IXA business developers provided Dobbe with valuable support, amongst others regarding the decision whether or not to apply for a patent.
“Assessing the financial viability of the patenting process is quite hard to figure out for yourself”, he says. Patenting seemed worth it, even though Dobbe’s patient-specific plate is more expensive than plates currently used. “We expect that health insurance companies will be persuaded to compensate when we demonstrate the cost reduction of the overall procedure.” To this end Dobbe recently started a validation project among 50 patients. He expects the outcome to be satisfying: “Faster surgical procedures, less malalignment associated problems and overall more effective revalidation. That’s what we want to bring to the clinic.”