3D Printing Revolutionizes Catastrophic Bone Injuries

Our journey to integrate 3D printing strategically across Johnson & Johnson’s businesses began with the desire to build global capabilities to provide patient-specific, next-generation innovation and on-demand 3D printing solutions to transform the standard of care. Our ability to develop solutions specific to each patient’s anatomy can drive the transformation shift in how we deliver healthcare. Specifically in the orthopedic space, we look to harness the power of 3D printing to potentially enhance surgical performance and efficiency and help improve outcomes for patients.

This goal comes to fruition with the introduction of a first-to-market 3D-printed, patient-specific implant from DePuy Synthes, part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, intended to support treatment of patients who have experienced an extremely serious bone injury from a traumatic fall, bone tumor or vehicular accident, and significant bone loss.

The device, called the Trumatch® Graft Cage – Long Bone, uses 3D printing and proprietary software to create a bone graft from a CT scan of the patient’s injury that helps ensure a custom fit to the patient’s anatomy. The entire 3D printing process takes about 10 days. The implant acts as a scaffold and support structure designed to prevent bone graft collapse during healing  and allow for the growth of new bone, which eventually will encase the entire implant. Once printed, the implant is coated with components that allow calcium phosphate to form, aiding in bone growth . The implant is made of materials that can be absorbed gradually into the body during the course of healing. A more precise fit inside the body may reduce the chances that a patient could need follow-up surgeries.

This groundbreaking innovation helps address an area of high unmet clinical need. Treatment options for these types of traumatic injuries have been limited in the past with patients sometimes facing amputation as a result of their injuries.

I am pleased to share the following story that illustrates how the Trumatch Graft Cage – Long Bone potentially could revolutionize trauma care and demonstrates how Johnson & Johnson 3D Printing Innovation and Customer Solutions is working in close collaboration with our colleagues in DePuy Synthes Trauma.

New capabilities such as this help us realize our ambition to deliver ultra-personalized and on-demand solutions, increase global reach and access, manufacture with greater speed and efficiency, and deliver products with minimal waste in a more sustainable fashion. This exciting innovation in 3D printing is just one example of how we are re-imagining solutions to help solve critical patient needs.