An Innovative and Certified Mandibular Prosthesis
Metal 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is one of several cutting-edge fields of expertise offered by IQ-CRIQ. This 3D printing technique helps companies optimize supply chains and manufacture small series. Working jointly with the CHU de Québec, IQ-CRIQ has added a new string to its bow: Medical 3D printing.
The LARA 3D laboratory’s very first project sought to design a mandibular reconstruction solution, along with two surgical guides. The traditional techniques currently used by surgeons involve the installation of metal plates on the jawbone of patients requiring maxillofacial reconstruction surgery, often after a bout with oral cancer. The need to adjust these plates to the patient’s morphology makes surgical efforts both difficult and time consuming.
IQ-CRIQ’s solution was to design implants that are perfectly adapted to the patient’s anatomy. Using the patient’s imaging data, the implants are printed using one of many available additive manufacturing technologies, here laser fusion on a metal powder bed.
Innovations like those offered by IQ-CRIQ do not happen overnight. According to Mr. Marcotte, these medical pieces were developed and manufactured over a four-year period. The first step was to obtain the best available equipment while setting up the laboratory that would produce the parts. Then came the extremely demanding but essential Health Canada certification process that would ensure the implants’ compliance with the strictest quality management requirements for medical device production. The collaboration between the CHU de Québec and IQ-CRIQ became a key factor when obtaining Health Canada certification.