Roman Gorbatov: using 3D printing we can save billions patients with serious diseases
3D printing is a technology that in the near future will make our life much easier. Its wide application in medicine allows doctors to realize the ideas that previously were considered as impossible.
We have talked with the 3D Print Expo conference speaker Roman Gorbatov about how to enhance the use of 3D technology in the Russian medicine and which developments have already been implemented. The expert is the Head of Additive Technologies Laboratory, Research Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics of Public Health Ministry of Russian Federation and deals with the issues, regarding the application of 3D technology in medical practice.
Interviewer: 3D Print Expo (3D)
Speaker: Roman Gorbatov (R.G.)
3D: Roman, tell us please about the bio-implant for replacing bone defects with the help of 3D printing that you have developed. Whether its production is set up and how many people did it help?
R.G.: We have developed and patented a unique technology for the creation of individual prostheses with the high-precision bone implants with the help of 3D-printing. Our development can completely replace bone defect of a patient. The distinction feature of the technology is that patients do not need to go to our clinic in order we could create an implant. It is developed according to the patient's CT images that can be sent via the Internet.
Currently, using the developed implants we can replace only those defects, which have simple form. Our project became the best innovative project of Russia in 2015 in the Medical Device nomination (OnkoBioMed-2015) and won a grant from the Skolkovo Fund for the development of the technology. That is why, in a year, we will modify and improve the technology, and will be able to replace any human bone defects. Currently, about 50 successful operations were already held.
Today, no country in the world has the technology for the creation of high-precision individual bone implants. So we are the pioneers in its development.
3D: Are these bone implants available for the patients in Russian clinics? Can we talk about mass application?
R.G.: Individual bone implants can be already created for patients in any hospital of Russia, and in the future they will be available worldwide. The most important thing is that their cost is much lower compared to metal analogues that are available now. For example, the price of an individual oncological prosthesis is about 1 million rubles, and the creation of an implant using our technology will cost less than 30 thousand. In our Center, individual bone implants are mounted for free (according to quotas). In addition, we are ready to distribute the technology.
3D: What developments can be expected from your laboratory in the near future?
R.G.: We are planning to improve the technology and use patient's stem cells for the creation of implants. Soon, we will also present the results of individual orthotics, created with the help of 3D printer. Our Centre is also working on the development of organs and tissues for the human body. Moreover, we are looking for new materials for bone implants that could be used in our technology.
Currently, due to the collaboration with the members of the Association of specialists focusing on 3D printing in medicine, our Center is already using individual titanium implants, which are created with the help of 3D printer, and mounted for free. Currently, there were held more than 40 operations of this type: from the replacement of the hip joint to the closure of the skull defect.
3D: Tell us about the best example from your practice regarding medical application of 3D technology (for example, aid to the patient with severe diagnosis).
R.G.: There are a lot of examples of how 3D printing helps patients. They include: individual insoles, which allow patients with diabetic foot to start walking. Or individual bone implants, which help to avoid amputation. But the most memorable example is as following. Switzerland manufactured an individual wrist joint endoprosthesis for a young patient, but its size didn’t fit to the bone defect and as the result it dislocated. Thanks to our technology, we have created an individual high-precise endoprosthesis with bone implant for this girl and thus retained the movement of her wrist joint. Without our technology, doctors suggested to make it fixed and motionless. And the worst thing is that the amount of patients who need these implants all over the world is huge.
3D: What areas of 3D technology application are you personally interested in? Besides orthopedics and traumatology.
R.G.: I am interested in all areas of medicine and 3D printing application. But the most important is bioprinting. Experts have high hopes for the creation of organs from patients’ cells. If this idea is implemented, we will be able to save billions of patients with serious diseases.
On the 18th of November, Roman Gorbatov will be a speaker of the industry conference, dedicated to the development of additive technologies in Russia — 3D Print Expo.
Hurry up and buy tickets in order to listen to his report on the topic “Additive technologies in traumatology and orthopedics”.