A novel 3D printed titanium jaw implant after partial lower jaw resection

Revolutionary implant for reconstruction purposes after mandibular resection (Acronym: RIfRaM)

Netherland Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and Mobius 3D Technologies joined forces to develop a functional, lightweight, yet firm and aesthetic mandible implant for the patients who are ineligible for a bony flap reconstruction.

Annually 600,000 patients are diagnosed with head and neck carcinoma worldwide. A subset of these patients requires a treatment that involves removing a segment of the mandible (lower jaw). For the preservation of essential functions, such as speaking and mastication, and the aesthetics of the mandible, reconstruction is necessary. The standard reconstruction is done by transferring bone, including the tissue from the patient's lower leg such as the fibula including the muscle and skin tissue. Unfortunately, 30% of these patients are ineligible for such significant procedure due to vascular problems. These patients receive only a titanium plate and a local/regional tissue transfer to bridge the defect. However, 30% of these conventional plates tend to brake or loosen in time.

Mobius 3D Technologies, along with the clinical expertise from the NKI-AvL, developed a concept prototype implant that has the clinical potential to replace the conventional mandibular plates. Based on the plate failures data, a novel mandibular implant is going to be designed. It is aimed to provide enough evidence through model analysis, physical tests and clinical study of 10 patients that the new type of personalized mandibular implant is safe to use, resulting significantly fewer complications and can be practically placed during the surgery.

The expected outcome is to have a functional occlusion with no complications in the included patients within the one-year follow-up period. If our new implant demonstrates to perform better than the conventional plates, this result would lead to significant improvement in terms of surgery time duration and stronger reconstruction.

The main goal after a segmental mandibulectomy is the preservation of essential functions and aesthetics of the mandible. Some of the patients are not eligible for a repair using own bone (for example from the leg). The aim is to develop a convenient, aesthetic, and yet functional titanium patient specific mandibular implant, for these patients.
Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
2 - 7
Time period
24 months