Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital (KVGH) have jointly developed the country’s first 3D printed prosthetic jaws, specifically designed for oral cancer patients. This development was presented at a recent press conference, highlighting its significance for approximately 10,000 individuals diagnosed annually with oral cancers in Taiwan. The majority of these patients require reconstructive surgeries that profoundly impact their appearance, eating, and speaking abilities.
Tsau Fang-hei, director of ITRI’s southern campus, emphasized the novelty of this application of 3D printed technology in medical devices, especially in the realm of prosthetic jaws. Before initiating clinical trials in 2019, ITRI conducted extensive simulations, performing over 500 million occlusion tests to ensure the prosthetics’ fit and functionality.
The hospital’s superintendent, Lin Yao-hsiang, reported positive outcomes from the trials. Of the nine patients who received these prosthetics, none experienced loosening of the device. Notably, over half have shown progress in regaining their chewing ability.
ITRI and KVGH are set to further refine the design of these 3D printed prosthetic jaws, aiming for broader future applications. This venture stands as a significant stride in medical prosthetics, leveraging 3D printing to enhance the quality of life for oral cancer patients.
Come and let us know your thoughts on our Facebook, X, and LinkedIn pages, and don’t forget to sign up for our weekly additive manufacturing newsletter to get all the latest stories delivered right to your inbox.