An RMIT PhD candidate has won the best presentation award at a major international conference for his work on patient-specific orthopaedic titanium implants.
Darpan Prakash Shidid presented at the 30th TITANIUM Conference and Exhibition in Chicago on an RMIT study investigating the use of 3D printing technology to create life changing bone-implants for patients living with bone cancer.
Mr Shidid was given the opportunity to present at the conference after winning the graduate prize in the 2014 CSIRO Titanium Challenge.
He said the conference provided an invaluable opportunity to engage with fellow experts in the field.
“The conference gathered titanium experts from around the world and presenting my research to such a distinguished audience was an honour,” he said.
“Winning the award has provided a boost of confidence in our new methodology.
“There is now greater opportunity for us to go further and apply this process in real life to reduce pain and enhance the quality of life of bone cancer patients.”
The winning project involves the design and manufacture of patient-specific orthopaedic titanium implants using Selective Laser Melting Technology.
Selective Laser Melting is a 3D printing process where three dimensional metal objects are printed layer by layer from a Computer Aided Design file.
Using bone cancer patients’ own CAT or MRI scans, the technology can generate exact 3D-printed replicas of the bone removed.
The lightweight lattice structure developed by RMIT researchers mimics the density and weight of human bone, enabling the implant to carry blood and encouraging healthy bone to grow into it.
The research is guided by Professor Milan Brandt and Dr Martin Leary, from the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.
It is the result of close collaboration with Professor Peter Choong, an orthopaedic surgeon at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, who specializes in the surgical treatment of bone cancer.
Each year, the CSIRO Titanium Challenge calls on university students to investigate the properties of titanium and demonstrate its potential.
In 2014, the challenge was sponsored by CSIRO, Boeing, the International Titanium Association and Coogee Chemicals.
Professor Milan Brandt, Technical Director of both the Centre and the AMP, said the new precinct brought together research and equipment capability.
“Additive manufacturing and 3D printing are still emerging as technologies but they’re clearly not going away,” he said.
“We hope the new products and processes that we are developing at RMIT can broaden their horizons and help industry become more globally competitive.”
The research team have now lodged a patent for the bone implant technology, with animal trials set to start next year and human trials to follow.
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