BACKGROUND: Additive manufacturing has allowed for the creation of a patient-specific custom solution that can resolve many of the limitations previously reported for canine cranioplasty. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the schedule feasibility and workflow in manufacturing patient-specific titanium implants for canines undergoing cranioplasty immediately following craniectomy.
RESULTS: Computed tomography scans from patients with tumors of the skull were considered and 3 cases were selected. Images were imported into a DICOM image processing software and tumor margins were determined based on agreement between a board-certified veterinary radiologist and veterinary surgical oncologist. Virtual surgical planning was performed and a bone safety margin was selected. A defect was created to simulate the planned intraoperative defect. Stereolithography format files of the skulls were then imported into a plate design software. In collaboration with a medical solution centre, a custom titanium plate was designed with the input of an applications engineer and veterinary surgery oncologist. Plates were printed in titanium and post-processed at the solution centre. Total planning time was approximately 2 h with a manufacturing time of 2 weeks.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on the findings of this study, with access to an advanced 3D metal printing medical solution centre that can provide advanced software and printing, patient-specific additive manufactured titanium implants can be planned, created, processed, shipped and sterilized for patient use within a 3-week turnaround.
Keywords: 3d print Additive manufacturing Cancer Cranioplasty Dog Implant Oncology