IIT Madras with Zoriox Labs develops 3D-printed face implants for patients with black fungus

The unique feature of this initiative is that the IIT Madras team can print the implant exactly to match the patient’s face
Pic credits: Edex Live
Pic credits: Edex Live

The researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed 3D-printed face implants for patients suffering from Black Fungus that have been reported in COVID-19 patients as well as to those with uncontrolled diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other medical conditions. For the same, the institute has partnered with ZorioX Innovation Labs, a start-up founded by dental surgeons in Chennai, to implement this initiative, which is based on metal 3D Printing or additive manufacturing.

As per the press release shared by the institute, around 50 implants have already been injected into patients from economically weaker sections. The outbreak of Mucormycosis or Black Fungus has raised concerns in India. Additionally, the most devastating effect of this is the loss of facial features which will impact the patient's mental and emotional well-being. 

Therefore, the reconstruction of faces lost due to black fungus is the need of the hour. Reports suggest that about 60,000 mucormycosis cases have been registered in India post-COVID, the statement read.

Treatment for Black Fungus

Reconstructive surgery is a viable solution for patients who have lost their facial features due to black fungus disease, said the statement by the IIT Madras, adding that these procedures involve the reconstruction of the nose, eyes, and other facial structures using a variety of techniques, such as skin grafts, tissue expansion, and microvascular surgery. 

These procedures can help restore the patient's appearance and function, allowing them to lead a more normal life, it added. Speaking on this technology, Associate Professor, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering of IIT Madras, Dr Murugaiyan Amirthalingam, said, “Additive manufacturing (3D printing) has already emerged as a viable and cost-effective, net shape manufacturing process for low volume production of complex body implants with specific custom-made designs." 

"Extensive research activities are already being carried out in IIT Madras to commercialise this technology for printing patient-specific implants in stainless steel, Ti-6Al-4V and Co-Cr-Mo alloys,” the professor added. 

What is unique about this project?

The IIT Madras team can print the implant exactly to match the patient’s face. The researchers get the patients’ CT Data from which we design a specific implant that will suit the patient perfectly. IIT Madras is among the first to print such implants for black fungus patients specifically, the institute reported.

Related Stories

No stories found.