An Ex Vivo Pilot Study to Assess the Feasibility of 3D Printing of Orbital Implants in Horses

Jenny Jarry, Yves De Raeve, Alexandra Dugdale, Vincent Simon, Jean Michel Vandeweerd

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Severe ophthalmic conditions such as trauma, uveitis, corneal damage, or neoplasia can lead to eye removal surgery. Poor cosmetic appearance resulting from the sunken orbit ensues. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing a custom-made 3D-printed orbital implant made of biocompatible material for the enucleated horse and usable in conjunction to a corneoscleral shell. Blender, a 3D-image software, was used for prototype design. Twelve cadaver heads of adult Warmbloods were collected from the slaughterhouse. On each head, one eye was removed via a modified transconjunctival enucleation while the contralateral eye was kept intact as control. Ocular measurements were collected on each enucleated eye with the help of a caliper and used for prototype sizing. Twelve custom-made biocompatible porous prototypes were 3D-printed in BioMed Clear resin using the stereolithography technique. Each implant was fixated into the corresponding orbit, within the Tenon capsule and conjunctiva. Heads were frozen and thin slices were then cut in the transverse plane. A scoring system based on four criteria (space for ocular prosthesis, soft-tissue-coverage, symmetry to the septum, and horizontal symmetry), ranging from A (proper fixation) to C (poor fixation), was developed to evaluate implantation. The prototypes reached our expectations: 75% of the heads received an A score, and 25% a B score. Each implant cost approximately 7.30€ and took 5 hours for 3D-printing. The production of an economically accessible orbital implant made of biocompatible porous material was successful. Further studies will help determine if the present prototype is usable in vivo.

langue originaleAnglais
Numéro d'article104826
journalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Les DOIs
Etat de la publicationPublié - sept. 2023

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