Australia-based medical device firm Anatomics, with the help of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has developed 3D printed ribs.


Anatomics has designed the 3D printed implant by using CSIRO’s 3D printing facility, Lab 22, at Clayton.

Anatomics team had created a 3D reconstruction of the chest wall and tumour, through using high resolution CT data, which helped surgeons to plan and accurately define resection margins.

Anatomics CEO Andrew Batty said: "Online planning sessions with our friends in Spain made the process very simple.

"We then wanted to 3D print the implant from titanium because of its complex geometry and design."

A Spanish cancer patient has received a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib implant, in a world’s first surgery of this kind.

The 3D printed ribs were transplanted in a 54-year-old man suffering with a chest wall sarcoma, a type of tumour that grows in and around the rib cage.

The surgical team, Dr José Aranda, Dr Marcelo Jimene and Dr Gonzalo Varela from Salamanca University Hospital, has carried out the surgery.

Australian Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said: "This breakthrough is an impressive example of what can be achieved when industry and science come together."

Based in Melbourne, Anatomics develops and markets surgical products. It has developed CT scan derived surgical implant technology that helps in producing better surgical outcomes.

Image: Anatomics’s 3D printed ribs. Photo: courtesy of Anatomics Pty Ltd.