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Engineers develop 3D printed surgical implants for dogs

A Liverpool University spin-out is to expand its use of 3D printing to produce surgical implants for dogs.

Formed in March 2013, Fusion Implants has developed a treatment for ruptured canine cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), a common orthopaedic problem that can cause knee pain and lameness.

CCL surgery involves a portion of bone being removed from the tibia to allow the restructuring of the angle of the knee joint, which is held in place by an implant.

New investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by Enterprise Ventures, will allow Fusion Implants to manufacture high-performance veterinary implants from titanium using 3D printing.

Fusion Implants’ patented technology allows the mass manufacture of porous titanium material that encourages the animal’s bone to grow into the implant.

The new device, a result of a collaboration between the University’s Schools of Engineering and Veterinary Science, is being sold to veterinary practices in the north west and will be launched nationally within the coming months.

The company brings together Dr Chris Sutcliffe and Dr Dan Jones from the School of Engineering and their colleagues, Rob Pettitt and Ben Walton from the School of Veterinary Science. Fusion Implants will use the funding to roll out its current product, employ a design engineer and finance new product development.

‘Our future plans include working closely with our veterinary surgeon customers to provide the next generation of animal implants,’ Dr Jones said in a statement. ‘In particular we will be working on a range of hip implants to suit specific breeds.’

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