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Title: Benefits and Biosafety of Use of 3D-Printing Technology for Titanium Biomedical Implants: A Pilot Study in the Rabbit Model
Authors: Ng, Sabrina Livia
Das, Subhabrata 
Ting, Yen-Peng 
Wong, Raymond Chung Wen 
Chanchareonsook, Nattharee 
Keywords: milled titanium
direct metal laser sintered
titanium particles
bone implants
bone plate
Issue Date: 6-Aug-2021
Publisher: MDPI AG
Citation: Ng, Sabrina Livia, Das, Subhabrata, Ting, Yen-Peng, Wong, Raymond Chung Wen, Chanchareonsook, Nattharee (2021-08-06). Benefits and Biosafety of Use of 3D-Printing Technology for Titanium Biomedical Implants: A Pilot Study in the Rabbit Model. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22 (16) : 8480-8480. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: Titanium has been used in osteosynthesis for decades and its compatibility and safety is unquestioned. Studies have shown that there is release and collection of titanium in the organ systems with little note of toxicity. The gold standard is considered to be titanium osteosynthesis plate produced by milling methods. The use of customized titanium plates produced with 3D printing, specifically direct metal laser sintering, have found increasing use in recent years. It is unknown how much titanium is released in these printed titanium implants, which is known to be potentially porous, depending on the heat settings of the printer. We hypothesize that the amount of titanium released in printed titanium implants may be potentially more or equal compared to the gold standard, which is the implant produced by milling. Methods: We studied the biosafety of this technology and its products by measuring serum and organ titanium levels after implantation of 3D-printed versus traditionally fabrication titanium plates and screws in a pilot study using the rabbit model. A total of nine rabbits were used, with three each in the control, milled and printed titanium group. The animals were euthanized after six months. Serum and organs of the reticuloendothelial system were harvested, digested and assayed for titanium levels. Results: Organ and serum titanium levels were significantly higher in rabbit subjects implanted with titanium implants (milled and printed) compared to the control group. However, there was no significant difference in organ and serum titanium levels of subjects implanted with milled and traditionally fabricated titanium implants. Conclusions: The biosafety of use of 3D-printed titanium implants and traditionally fabricated titanium implants are comparable. With this in mind, 3D-printed custom implants can not only replace, but will very possibly surpass traditionally fabricated titanium implants in the mode and extent of use.
Source Title: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN: 14220067
DOI: 10.3390/ijms22168480
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