ForTePro is developing high-strength implants populated with autologous cells and individually customised for large bone and cartilage defects of the skull and locomotor system. The implants consist of three-dimensionally structured, absorbable supportscaffolds, which are fabricated by the medical rapid prototyping (RP) methods to receive a perfect fit. The scaffolds are seeded with autologous cells (such as bone marrow stem cells , cartilage or connective tissue cells) and, on this basis, they form new, natural tissue (tissue engineering). Innovative scan technologies (3D ultrasound, holography) and mathematical methods of modelling and simulation enable individual shaping of these implants. Such implants do not cause infection and have a minimum risk of graft rejection and, above all, have immediate mechanical strength. After a period of time, they are transformed entirely into autologous tissue. The objectives of ForTePro are the development of new process technologies and implant prototypes so that small and medium-sized companies will in future be able to manufacture custom bio-implants quickly and economically. The following universities, institutes and hospitals participate in ForTePro:the Technical University of Munich, the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the University of Bayreuth, the University of Regensburg, FORWISS Passau, the major European research centre caesar (Center of Advanced European Studies and Research) in Bonn as well as 13 SMEs as industrial partners. The University Hospital in Basle/Switzerland is the international cooperation partner.
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