3D printed personalized titanium plates improve clinical outcome in microwave ablation of bone tumors around the knee

Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 8;7(1):7626. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-07243-3.


Microwave ablation has been widely accepted in treating bone tumor. However, its procedure is time-consuming and usually results in postoperative fractures. To solve this problem, we designed and fabricated titanium plates customized to the patients' bone structures. The personalized titanium plates were then used for fixation after the removal of tumorous tissue. Specifically, 3D models of tumor-bearing bone segments were constructed by using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The 3D models were used to design the personalized titanium plates. The plate model was transferred into a numerical control machine for manufacturing the personalized titanium plates by 3D printing. The plates were then surgically implanted for reconstruction assistance following microwave-induced hyperthermia to remove the bone tumor. Implementation parameters and knee functions were then evaluated. No postoperative fractures, implant failures or loosening problems occurred; mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society score was 27.17 from the latest follow-up. Mean maximum flexion of affected knees was 114.08°. The results of knee gait analysis were comparable with normal population data. Our work suggests that personalized titanium plates can significantly improve the clinical outcomes in the surgical removal of bone tumor. This study represents the first-time effort in using personalized titanium plates for such surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Bone Plates
  • Child
  • Female
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur / pathology
  • Femur / surgery
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Joint / pathology
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Microwaves / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteosarcoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology
  • Osteosarcoma / surgery*
  • Precision Medicine
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Radiofrequency Ablation / methods
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / diagnostic imaging
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / pathology
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / surgery*
  • Tibia / diagnostic imaging
  • Tibia / pathology
  • Tibia / surgery
  • Titanium / chemistry*
  • Titanium / therapeutic use
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Titanium