It seems that cumbersome plaster casts could soon go the way of the dinosaurs thanks to new innovations in the medical field. 3D printing, for instance, is being increasingly exploited for the production of patient-specific casts and braces. ActivArmor, a producer of next-gen 3D printed medical devices, is taking its products to the next level with a partnership with LINE-X, a leader in protective coatings.
Through the collaboration, LINE-X will provide its high quality coatings to ActivArmor’s 3D printed casts and braces, making them even more resistant to liquid and more durable. This means that patients fitted with an ActivArmor device will be able to live life more normally—finding tasks such as showering much easier.
At their core, ActivArmor’s custom 3D printed casts and braces are designed to accommodate an active lifestyle. The support devices are made up of a 3D printed exoskeleton structure which is waterproof, hygienic and breathable. Further, the handy casts can be removed and put back on, making doctor checkups and follow-ups much more straightforward.
With the new coatings from LINE-X, the 3D printed orthotics and casts are make even more resilient, so that keeping up with an active lifestyle even when part of your body is inhibited is easier than ever.
“As the first medical application for our renowned coatings, we’re thrilled to be partnering with ActivArmor to bring extreme durability, coupled with extraordinary resistance to liquid, to their casts and braces,” said Dennis Weese, President of LINE-X. “The addition of LINE-X brings an already groundbreaking 3D printed medical device to the next level. Recovering patients using ActivArmor are already experiencing a new era in individualized medical technology and treatment. Those patients will now have the benefit of a durable LINE-X coating that adds to the structural integrity and water resistance of the splint.”
Going forward, patients will have the option of adding the LINE-X coating to their bespoke medical devices, though ActivArmor recommends it. The coating will reportedly reduce the risks of skin irritation (it is ISO biocompatible); make the cast resistant to sweat and other moisture; make it possible to shower and bathe, improving hygiene; and improve the structural integrity and lifespan of ActivArmor products.
As mentioned, because the casts are easily removable (and can be reapplied), they can actually help reduce office visit times and costs related to cast replacements and removals. (If you’ve ever suffered from a soggy cast, you’ll understand this very well.) Presently, physicians around the U.S. are prescribing ActivArmor devices to treat acute injuries such as breaks or sprains, as well as chronic conditions like carpal tunnel.
“During the ongoing product improvement process, we tested several different ways to reinforce and protect our 3D printed orthoses and determined that LINE-X’s biocompatible coating would bring the safest, most protective benefits and hygienic features to our casts,” added Diana Hall, President and Founder of ActivArmor. “We share the same vision in using creatively innovative technology to protect and improve the quality of life for our customers, and we look forward to collaborating on even more custom exoskeletal solutions.”