With 3D Printing, Stryker Orthopaedics Moves Toward Patient-Specific Implants

strykerStryker Orthopaedics is considering working with hospital groups internationally to create a small 3D printer that would turn out customized implants in hospitals, Gene Kulesha, senior director of platform technology engineering at the US firm, told people attending the Mfg4 conference yesterday in Hartford, CT.

Five to seven years from now, the partners envision that hospitals will house not only 3D printers but also dedicated design engineers, he said. Such “print engineers” would gather the diagnostic data from patients and surgeons, quickly design personalized implants, print them within six hours, sterilize them and deliver them to the surgeons.

“Right now, the first step is to have the implant ready in maybe a week’s time—for the second surgery,” Kulesha said.

Homer Stryker, an orthopedic surgeon and prolific inventor, founded the firm, which last year recorded sales of $9.9 billion, Kulesha said, noting that that figure hovered around $800 million when he joined the firm 20 years ago. “He would just crank out inventions left and right: bed frames, special heel inserts so people could walk on casts. He invented the cast cutter back in the 1940s.”

With nearly 5000 patents to its name, Stryker knows something about giving its engineers latitude.

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About Peter Coffaro 1091 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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