Additive manufacturing enables disruptive opportunities to fabricate patient-specific implants for bone reconstruction, with devices tailored to patient characteristics determined from medical imaging. Far from a futuristic pipe dream, such devices are currently being 3D printed and implanted to avoid amputation in trauma and cancer cases, and increasingly, to replace existing “off-the-shelf” technologies for more common conditions related to aging. This talk will review the central technological challenges whose solutions will define the transition to patient-specific implants as the default surgical solution (within the decade). While the ultimate design objective is straightforward – grow new bone throughout the implant and connect healthy tissue – the pathway to achieve that objective involves meeting a myriad of requirements. Principally, these involve (i) a design and fabrication concept that can be matched to a broad range of patient physiology (i.e. the shape of the reconstruction volume or “defect” to be replaced by the implant), (ii) robust bone/implant integration that avoids damage to adjacent healthy tissue, (iii) straining of nascent bone to promote cell differentiation and accelerate healing, and (iv) a robust construct that avoids intervening implant failures. This talk detail how the combination of additive manufacturing and truss-based structures is uniquely suited to address these requirements and will illustrate characteristics of bone scaffolds that offer superior patient outcomes.
Matthew R. Begley is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UCSB in 1995 and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard from 1995-1997. Prof. Begley joined UCSB in 2010, following faculty positions held at the University of Virginia (2001-2009). Prof. Begley’s research thrusts are: (i) additive manufacturing for bioengineering and aerospace applications, (ii) field-assisted assembly of functional materials, and (iii) simulation and design of polymeric foams. He has been an invited speaker at the International Congress on Fracture (2001), the Advanced Metallization Conference (2003), Gordon Conference on Small-Scale Mechanical Behavior (2006), the Gordon Conference on Microfluidics (2013), Invited Keynote Speaker at the 2016 uTAS Meeting and the Gordon Conference on Corrosion (2019). Professor Begley was co-leader of the winning team in DARPA’s Digital Manufacturing, Analysis, Correlation and Estimation Challenge (2010), and is a recipient a Fraunhofer-Bessel Award from the Humboldt Foundation in Germany (2013).