Manufacturing to get face lift

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A GTMA conference on 23 November includes presentations on the role of rapid manufacturing in the production of prostheses, surface analysis of surgical implants and the use of engineering assisted surgery by a leading consultant.

The event runs from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm at the Manufacturing Technology Centre Ansty Park, Coventry.
The MTC has been built to provide a globally competitive manufacturing research hub, making it the ideal location for this collaboration of medical and engineering innovations.

The conference will be chaired by Sue Dunkerton, BSc, CEng, FIMMM, Co-Director of the HealthTech and Medicines Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN).

The morning presentations will cover implants with the afternoon given over to dental and facial developments. Professor David Wimpenny will cover the 'production of precise prosthesis and implants using Additive Manufacturing'. He is one of the world's leading experts in the field of Additive Manufacturing and his groundbreaking work at Warwick University, De Montfort University and MTC has paved the way for the use of Additive Manufacturing in the generation of end use products
John Sullivan, PhD, DSc, is Professor of Surface Science and Head of the Surface Science Group at Aston University and Director of Midlands Surface Analysis Ltd.

He will speak about medical implant surface and properties analysis. Materials used in the production of long-term implantable devices must be such that the surfaces cannot produce any adverse local or systemic effects in the host. As he explains: "The materials must be biocompatible, but what is regarded as biocompatible for one application is not necessarily biocompatible for another."

The final presentation of the day, 'Engineering Assisted Surgery' comes from Mr Ninian Peckitt. As a consultant cosmetic oral, maxillofacial surgeon and facial plastic surgeon and Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering Assisted Surgery at Massey University New Zealand, he aims to use the very latest engineering advances to benefit patients in need of reconstructive facial surgery.
Mr Peckitt has pioneered radical new technologies to treat patients with head injuries and advanced cancers of the mouth and throat. Such conditions often require the removal of large pieces of bone, which are then replaced by implants.
Using computerised CT and MRI scanners to build 3D models of patients' heads and then transferring data to rapid prototyping devices, such as stereolithography machines, enables him to accurately create full-sized models. Using the models operations can be planned and, crucially, bespoke titanium implants can be CNC machined to exactly fit the patients' facial parameters.

Refreshments will be provided for attendees and around 20 GTMA members will be exhibiting medical engineering solutions and services on 'hot desks' at the event. Places are limited so visitors are encouraged to book early to ensure a place