Johnson & Johnson Company Acquires 3D Printing Bone Implant Technology

To repair bone injuries and encourage the growth of new bone, doctors often harvest bone from other parts of the body to create patches, or rely on implants. 3D printing has helped make it easier to create custom-fit implants made of safer, more flexible materials.

One of the companies working in this space is Tissue Regeneration Systems (TRS), and DePuy Synthes Products (a Johnson & Johnson company) has acquired 3D printing technology from TRS. The 3D printing methods will help DePuy Synthes create patient-specific, bioresorbable implants with a “unique mineral coating intended to support bone healing in patients with orthopaedic and craniomaxillofacial deformities and injuries,” according to a release announcing the acquisition. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

“We are systematically investing in building a pipeline of 3D printed products,” said Ciro Römer, Company Group Chairman, DePuy Synthes. “The TRS technology, which will be added to the DePuy Synthes Trauma Platform, is the latest example of how we are working toward developing next-generation technologies that transform healthcare delivery with individualized solutions for patients.”

DePuy Synthes began collaborating with TRS in 2014 through Johnson & Johnson Innovation, which invests in new technologies in the medical device, consumer healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. According to DePuy, Johnson & Johnson Innovation facilitated the collaboration between the two companies.

“The acquisition of the TRS technology by DePuy Synthes is testament to our ability to identify and work collaboratively with promising early-stage companies and entrepreneurs to accelerate bringing innovative new products to market,” said Robert G. Urban, Ph.D., Global Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation. “We are excited at the potential this technology holds to help improve patient outcomes.”

Founded in 2008, TRS sells skeletal reconstruction and bone regeneration technology based on research from the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin.

In addition to being bioresorbable, the implants created using the TRS method have an engineered porosity that can help bear large load and support functions. The geometry can be custom constructed based on CT scans and adapted during surgery to exactly replicate the missing bone.

The technology gives doctors an alternative to harvested bone for these surgeries.

For more in 3D printing and bone implants, see our previous coverage here.

Source: DePuy Synthes

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