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Getting patients up and going quickly
OSTEOPORE International specialises in the production of 3D printed implants that are used in surgical procedures to assist with the natural stages of bone healing. The unique design of the implants, or scaffolds, allows for the infiltration of cells and blood vessels, both of which play key roles in wound healing and tissue repair.
"Osteopore 3D printing technology creates homes with interconnected space for bone cells to live, communicate, and remodel. Like in a modern home, the architecture must allow plumbing pipes and electrical wires to reach the individuals in the rooms. It is this interconnected 3D micro-architecture that allows for vessels formation and easy access to nutrients and waste discharge," explained Professor Teoh Swee Hin, the founder and director of Osteopore.
He noted that the 3D printed micro-architecture and the "bioresorbable" nature of the polymer used in Osteopore's products mean that the scaffolds eventually degrade into carbon dioxide and water, which the body can eliminate through the various organs.
This means that patients would eventually grow back their own bone tissue with no permanent synthetic materials left behind. "This minimises or eliminates late infections, fractures and other complications that may require expensive treatment or revision surgery," said Prof Teoh.
By the end of 2018, the company had more than 20,000 products implanted in patients, mainly in craniofacial and plastic reconstruction procedures.
In September 2019, the company was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange to help support its growth internationally.
For its success in helping patients through its products, Osteopore was named the Champion at the Brands for Good 2019 Awards in the "Patents - Improving Lives" category as well as an Honouree in the "Community - Business Model" category.
This year's win marks the second consecutive year the Singapore-based firm has clinched Brands for Good awards.
Going forward, the company plans to develop an infrastructure to support its customers in the United States, European Union, Australia, and Asia, said Goh Khoon Seng, Osteopore's Singapore CEO. It will also collaborate with clinicians to develop emerging applications in oral maxillofacial, dental, orthopaedic, aesthetic and spine surgery.
Furthermore, the company will explore new material compositions to enhance the speed of bone regeneration so that patients can "be up and going as early as possible," said Prof Teoh.
On the technology front, Osteopore will leverage advance software technology, as well as in artificial intelligence and 5G solutions, to automate the 3D printing process for large scale mass production.