A company using the latest 3D printing techniques to create surgical implants for dogs is preparing for a national launch, thanks to considerable investment from a venture capital fund.
Fusion Implants, a spin-out company from the University of Liverpool, has devised a way to manufacture high-performance veterinary implants from titanium using 3D printing, or “additive manufacturing” as it is also known.
Fusion Implants’ patented technology allows the mass manufacture of porous titanium material, which encourages the animal’s bone to grow into the implant, forming a natural bond and considerably improving performance.
The new device, used in canine knee reconstructions to cure lameness and improve mobility, is the result of a collaboration between the university’s schools of engineering and veterinary science. It is already being sold to veterinary practices in the North West and will be launched nationally within the coming months.
The venture has been made possible thanks to investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital
, a £155m evergreen investment fund established to provide debt and equity funding
to small and medium sized enterprises in the North West of England.
Although the exact amount has not been revealed, reports claim Fusion Implants secured a six-figure sum in order to roll out its current product nationwide, employ a design engineer and finance new product development.
General Manager Dan Jones said: “The use of 3D printing gives greater design freedom than conventional manufacturing techniques and also allows us to combine solid and porous sections for optimum strength and biological performance.
“Our future plans include working closely with our veterinary surgeon customers to provide the next generation of animal implants. In particular we will be working on a range of hip implants to suit specific breeds.”