Just like clothes come in different sizes, so do implants. When a patient needs a knee implant, there is a range of sizes and shapes available for their surgeon to choose from. But what if they could opt for a custom fit rather than “off-the-rack”? According to a recent Medgadget article, scientists at the UK’s University of Birmingham are looking to do just that. The team is using the Generative Design technique, which in the past has been used in designing cars and airplanes, to create lighter, stronger, and more personalized implants.
The process accounts for patient-specific biomechanical parameters, like body weight and activity level, to yield an optimal implant. To date, the researchers have used the technique to make High Tibial Osteotomy plates, and then manufactured the designs with electron beam powder bed fusion.