After a Siberian Husky was diagnosed with a cranial wall tumor, Utrecht University’s Clinic for Companion Animal Health acted quickly, removing it and fitting the dog with a 3D printed skull roof. In a European first, researchers from Utrecht University’s faculty of Veterinary Medicine and University Medical Center Utrecht collaborated to perform an operation to fit a Siberian Husky with a 3D printed skull roof. Veterinary surgeon Professor Bjorn Meij said: “One of the main advantages of 3D printing of a skull roof is that it can be tailored perfectly to the individual, and a porous titanium edge can be printed. This edge allows the bone to grow into the implant so it becomes integrated into the skull.” A replacement skull was printed in titanium and implanted successfully. As a result of the collaboration between the University’s faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the University Medical Center Utrecht, both human medicine and veterinary medicine have learned a lot. The faculties are studying the use of titanium and the development of 3D printed implants for use in hip dysplasia in both animals and humans. “We are collaborating ever more closely with human medicine, and this has led, for example, to researchers from Veterinary Medicine, UMC Utrecht and the Hubrecht Laboratory working together in a single lab. More and more is being published on dogs and horses and the translation of findings for comparable diseases in humans: hence the focus on One health – One Medicine,” adds Professor Meij.
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