Himed and Lithoz Enter Medical 3D Printing Materials Research Partnership

Companies seek to enhance medical-grade bioceramics for implants using biocompatible calcium phosphates.

OLD BETHPAGE, N.Y., July 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Advancing 3D-printed medical implants depends on the steady progress of leading-edge printer technologies, as well as the skillful development of the raw materials used in those technologies. Appreciating that these crucial factors must work together, Himed (www.himed.com), a New York-based biomaterials manufacturer serving dental and orthopedic implant markets worldwide, and Lithoz (www.lithoz.com), a global market leader in 3D printing based in Austria, have teamed up to develop new bioceramic feedstocks. They’ve begun a long-term strategic Materials Research Partnership Agreement to explore novel integrations of Himed’s calcium phosphate (CaP) biomaterials with Lithoz’s proprietary ceramic binder used in their innovative CeraFab S65 medical 3D printer.

Over the last thirty years, calcium phosphates like hydroxyapatite have gained widespread use in implantable devices, bone putties, and grafting materials for their similarity to natural bone, and can aid the organic regrowth of hard tissue at the implantation site. Since 1991, Himed has collaborated with different medical implant manufacturers to develop and optimize various CaP powders and surface treatments for osseointegration. The partnership with Lithoz, however, allows new opportunities for Himed in the medical additive manufacturing market beyond bioactive surface treatments and post-processing of implants. Himed’s CEO, Dana Barnard, explains:

“Himed understands CaP optimization and how to scale it for a growing market. We’ve refined many calcium phosphates to strengthen their healing potential, but most of these were targeted toward surface coatings on traditionally manufactured titanium implants. Lithoz’s remarkable 3D printing technology allows a whole new direction for our products, in which we can use CaP to its greatest advantage—as a biomimetic material within the implant structure itself that can be replaced by a person’s own natural bone over time.”

For Lithoz, this partnership grants opportunities to build upon the success of their LithaBone product line—a printable bioceramic that leverages the resorbable and osteoconductive qualities of hydroxyapatite (HA) and tricalcium phosphate (TCP) for medical applications. Collaborating with Himed is the next logical point in the large-scale commercialization of this highly specific technology, and together the two companies form a powerful international pool of researchers capable of advancing the functional benefits of osteoconductive bioceramics. The partnership also allows the two groups to explore how other CaP formulations might enhance the highly sophisticated biomimetic forms Lithoz printers can produce. Dr. Johannes Homa, Lithoz’s CEO, says: “This is definitely a big milestone for our partnership, and just a first starting point for a mutually beneficial collaboration for additive manufacturing of bone replacement.”

Initial research will occur at Lithoz’s U.S. location in Troy, NY this summer by a joint team of materials scientists. In early fall, Himed will install a new Lithoz CeraFab S65 printer at their 25,000 sq. ft. facility in Long Island, allowing for swift on-site experimenting and analytical testing. It will also broaden their R&D services to include rapid prototyping of different forms for Himed’s clients to conduct unique biomaterials research.

Ultimately, both companies believe there’s still much to discover about developing CaP materials to augment the performance of 3D-printed implantable forms. This strategic partnership represents a first step in expanding the range of biocompatible materials suitable for a future of highly customized, patient-specific medical solutions that can be printed on demand.

About Himed: Since 1991, Himed has been on the vanguard of biomaterial coating characterization. With an all-in-one research and production facility in New York, Himed supplies raw calcium phosphate biomaterials for a wide array of uses and provides tailorable, biocompatible coating and texturing solutions with their MATRIX® line of surface treatments. Himed is FDA registered and ISO 13485:2016 certified.
Contact: Kaelie Barnard | Dir. Marketing, Barson Corp.

| +1 (516) 712–6050

About Lithoz: Lithoz is the world and technology leader for high-performance ceramic materials and 3D printers. Founded in 2011, Lithoz is committed to breaking the boundaries of ceramic production and supporting customers in expanding the manufacturing opportunities for the ceramic industry. The company has an export share of almost 100%, almost 150 employees and 4 different sites worldwide. Since 2016, Lithoz has also been ISO 9001-2015 certified.
Contact: Alice Elt | PR Manager, Lithoz

| +43 660 1563231