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3D printed implants with nanotechnology to rebuild broken joints


DAVINCI and among others Aarhus University initiates cooperation about exciting project, which combines stem cell research, nanotechnology and 3D print.

With the project CartigenPro a team of scientists has developed a nanotechnological material, which can be operated into the body at larger damages. The material attracts stem cells and promotes formation of new cartilage. Concurrently with the new tissue being formed, the implant is destroyed and disappears. Innovation Fund Denmark invests 8 million DKK in development of the production platform for the degradable implants.

The cells in our body work constantly on creating new tissue. At illness or injury the task can be too big for the cells. By implanting a nano porous material, with a surface, which attracts blood from the bone marrow, you can get the stem cells to stream in and spread in the porous material. Here they begin to create new tissue, and because the amount of cells is larger than at the natural process, there can be created tissue types, which the body can not reform without any help. Gradually as new tissue are developed, the implant is destroyed, so the body after a while, does not contain foreign objects.

The scientists have known about the material for a while, but now  the companies DAVINCI development and LevOss have joined together about the development and approval of the production platform, which should make it possible to print 3D implants, which are adjusted to the individual body.

In the long term it will also be possible to adjust on the mechanical proporties of the material – for instance how porous or compact the material should be – so it can be used for other tissue types, for instance bones, or be used to make sure, that the medication will arrive to a certain place in the body. The technology is developed on Aarhus University in cooperation between Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Institute for Engineering (ENG) and Aarhus University hospital .

It is now up to the companies LevOss and DAVINCI to cooperate with the scientists and to make the technology usable in larger scales, and contribute with each of their competences.

“The underlying principle of using the mechanical properties to stimulate the cells is a fundamental change within tissue technology. The idea of, that it is the form of the bio material, which can manage the cells behaviour, makes our product simple but efficient.” says manager Mai-Britt Zocca from LevOss.

DAVINCI development is the project’s partner within development and construction of 3D technologies. The company  is owner of The Nordic countries’ largest additive layer manufacturing machine “park” (3D print).

“With CartigenPro, DAVINCI thinks, that we can lift our competences within the biotech-industry to a whole new and exciting level. Furthermore DAVINCI gets a unique opportunity to produce medical implants by means of 3D print, which has never been seen before on the market.” says Ole Lykke Jensen from DAVINCI development A/S.

More about the cooperation partners here – article published on Innovation Fund Denmark’s homepage 30 May.

Read more about the technology – article published in Ingeniøren 31 May.