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Bespoke Bones

Mechanical engineering professor Ken Gall uses a patient's CT scans to customize a 3D-printed titanium implant

Ken Gall, Duke Engineering's new associate dean for entrepreneurship and the founder of 3D printing company restor3d, was recently charged with designing and printing a custom titanium implant for a young patient who had suffered critical damage to a bone in her lower leg during a vehicle accident.

"Many centers would have probably amputated,” said Duke orthopaedic surgeon Samuel Adams, MD. “I immediately thought of implanting a 3D-printed cage to replace the lost bone.”

Working with Adams, Gall's group used the patient's CT scans to inform the fabrication and design of a scaffold that can support the patient's weight while she heals and grows new bone around the titanium structure. 

Read about the outcome on Duke Clinical Practice Today.