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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 4520636, 8 pages
Research Article

Patient-Specific Surgical Implants Made of 3D Printed PEEK: Material, Technology, and Scope of Surgical Application

1Hand Surgery, Kantonsspital Baselland, Liestal, Switzerland
2Medical Additive Manufacturing Research Group, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
3Department of Oral and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
4Apium Additive Technologies GmbH, Karlsruhe, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Philipp Honigmann; hc.lbsk@nnamginoh.ppilihp

Received 12 December 2017; Accepted 12 February 2018; Published 19 March 2018

Academic Editor: Berardo Di Matteo

Copyright © 2018 Philipp Honigmann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Additive manufacturing (AM) is rapidly gaining acceptance in the healthcare sector. Three-dimensional (3D) virtual surgical planning, fabrication of anatomical models, and patient-specific implants (PSI) are well-established processes in the surgical fields. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) has been used, mainly in the reconstructive surgeries as a reliable alternative to other alloplastic materials for the fabrication of PSI. Recently, it has become possible to fabricate PEEK PSI with Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology. 3D printing of PEEK using FFF allows construction of almost any complex design geometry, which cannot be manufactured using other technologies. In this study, we fabricated various PEEK PSI by FFF 3D printer in an effort to check the feasibility of manufacturing PEEK with 3D printing. Based on these preliminary results, PEEK can be successfully used as an appropriate biomaterial to reconstruct the surgical defects in a “biomimetic” design.