AccScience Publishing / IJB / Volume 10 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/ijb.0125
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Efficacy of 3D-printed customized titanium implants and its clinical validation in foot and ankle surgery

Yangjing Lin1 Peng He2 Guangyu Yang3 Fuyou Wang1 Liang Jia3 Huaquan Fan1 Liu Yang1 Huiping Tang3* Xiaojun Duan1*
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1 Center for Joint Surgery, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University (Army Medical University), Chongqing 400038, China
2 Chongqing Institute of Optics and Machines, Chongqing 401122, China
3 State Key Laboratory of Porous Metal Materials, Northwest Institute for Nonferrous Metal Research, Xi’an 710016, China
IJB 2024, 10(1), 0125
Submitted: 9 April 2023 | Accepted: 17 June 2023 | Published: 24 July 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

In foot and ankle surgery, internal fixation was crucial to maintain the stability of bony structure, and bone grafting material is commonly used to treat bone defects. With rapid development of three-dimensional (3D) printing technology, new advances were made in these two aspects. In this study, digital image correlation method (DICM) data of the patient’s ankle via computed tomography (CT) examination were obtained and imported into a series of software. The engineer cooperated with the surgeon to design the customized implants. Ti-6Al-4V spherical metal powder was chosen as raw material and fused together by selective electron beam melting (SEBM), a type of 3D printing technology, to prepare the implant. The implants were sterilized with ethylene oxide. The customized 3D-printed implants were successfully utilized in tibiotalocalcaneal (TTC) arthrodesis to maintain the bony structures at the functional position. In another case, the 3D-printed fusion cage was applied in subtalar arthrodesis to treat bone defects. In these clinical cases, 3D-printed customized titanium implants helped improve the surgical operation flow, and no obvious tissue reaction was observed. The successful implementation suggested that the application of 3D printing technology to prepare customized titanium implants would play an important role in future foot and ankle surgery.

3D printing
Customized implants
Metal material
Subtalar joint
This work was supported by the State Key Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (No. 2016YFB1101400), We would like to thank Xin Chen from the Center for Joint Surgery, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University for the language support for this article.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interests.
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International Journal of Bioprinting, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8002 Print ISSN: 2424-7723, Published by AccScience Publishing