Schäfer Ute

Professor for Experimental Neurotraumatology 
Research Unit for Experimental Neurotraumatology 
Department of Neurosurgery, Medical 
University of Graz 

Ute Schäfer is head of the Research Unit for Experimental Neurotraumatology at the Medical University of Graz as well as Scientific Director of the COMET K‐Project “CAMed – Clinical Additive Manufacturing for Medical Applications”. CAMed has the aim to establish various 3D‐Printing technologies directly in the clinic to additive manufacture individualized implants, models and tools and therefore to optimize patient treatment. Based on the CAMed‐project, a Medical 3D‐Printing Lab was realised in 2019 at the LKH University Clinic Graz – the first one in Europe. 

Title of Talk 
In‐house manufacturing of patient‐specific implants directly in the clinic – challenges in clinical process integration 

3D‐printing of implants, tools or prostheses in a clinical setting is a highly challenging field in additive manufacturing. It is crucial to guarantee patients as well as attending physicians at any time the highest possible quality of material as well as printing process and this quality of course has to be reproducible and on the highest possible level. These requirements in the highly sensitive medical setting are highly challenging to fulfill and a broad range of preclinical investigations have to be done, before 3D‐printed can be included to the clinical routine. The COMET K‐Project CAMed funded by two Austrian public institutions aims to bring the highly promising technology of 3D‐printing into a clinical setting to optimize treatment options by manufacturing patient‐specific implants. In the first project years of CAMed, optimal printing parameters for various promising materials were developed, printed samples were analysed on their mechanical characteristics by bending and charpy tests as well as on their clinical sterilizability and biocompatibility. Together with segmentation and simulation of patient data and a close cooperation with scientific partners for process development and optimization, the chance of integrating 3D‐printing into the clinic within the next years is getting closer and closer.