Canterbury graduate a New Zealand Hi-Tech finalist

01 April 2015

A UC graduate whose company is providing custom designed 3D-printed implants to help patients with severely damaged bone and joints has been named a NZ Hi-Tech Award finalist.

Canterbury graduate a New Zealand Hi-Tech finalist

Madeleine Martin

A University of Canterbury graduate whose company is providing custom designed 3D-printed implants to help patients with severely damaged bone and joints has been named a New Zealand Hi-Tech Award finalist. 

Madeleine Martin, general manager of Ossis, is revolutionising orthopaedic surgeries by using advanced 3D technology to custom-design and manufacture world leading titanium bone and joint implants. The implants are breaking new ground with more than 60 successful operations to date. Martin is a finalist in the Young Achiever section of the New Zealand Hi-Tech awards. Winners will be named in Wellington on May 15.

Ossis has been creating highly advanced 3D printed titanium alloy implants that help severely disabled people to regain their mobility and independence. Every Ossis implant is different and custom-designed to the millimetre to replace damaged bone and joints that off-the-shelf technology cannot. Surgical time is significantly reduced with this new technology.

Martin says people are living longer and with a rising rate of joint related diseases, diabetes and obesity there’s an escalating demand worldwide for joint replacements.

“Our first patient, who we believe was the first in the world to receive a custom designed 3D printed titanium implant, is fit and well, with the bone fully healed after her operation.”

“People are requesting joint replacements at a younger age, and with increasing functional expectations post-surgery. Age, genetics and obesity are not the only factors that can initiate progressive wear and tear on our bones and joints; our more extreme lifestyles often result in trauma.

“Instead of surgeons piecing together off-the-shelf products during an operation and cutting away valuable bone to make an implant fit, we can work with surgeons to design the perfectly fitting implant prior to the operation.”

“We then create an exact plastic model of the implant on our 3D printer to allow the surgeon to practice on and refer to in surgery. This process significantly reduces the operation time and makes life a lot easier for the surgeon.”

Ossis has doubled its staff headcount in the last 18 months to 12 and is using advanced 3D design technology, similar to that used by Weta Workshops for creating its award winning animations.

Martin says the University of Canterbury has a great balance of design and practical application, setting their students up to be practical thinkers and problem solvers in challenging environments.

“I was fortunate enough to complete an exchange to the University of Bath, where I started my papers in biomedical engineering. 

“Canterbury does a great job of fostering team work skills and professional skills to help their students prepare for a professional role. The work experience requirement is key to help students understand what the professional role is like.”

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications 
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz

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