/ Updated on

Unveiling of Canada’s first 3D anatomical reconstruction laboratory

Investissement Québec - CRIQ and the CHU de Québec - Université Laval are proud to present the 3D anatomical reconstruction laboratory (LARA 3D), a unique infrastructure that gives Quebec cutting-edge equipment and pioneering expertise in the fabrication of implantable protheses using 3D imaging, modelling, and production technologies.

Original Press Release (French only) Investissement Québec 

This project was made possible thanks to an exceptional collaboration between an applied industrial research centre, Investissement Québec - CRIQ, and a university hospital centre, CHU de Québec - Université Laval. SOVAR, an organization devoted to the emergence, development, and deployment of responsible technological and social innovations stemming from cutting-edge research, also participated.

The partners have invested a little over $8M so far for the purchase of 3D printers and specialized equipment, research space planning, the design and manufacture of the first prototypes, use tests, and the launch of the homologation process for new products to be marketed.

The Quebec government contributed to the project by allocating $3,477,873 through the Programme de soutien à la recherche, volet 2 - Soutien au financement d’infrastructures de recherche (Research Support Program, Category 2 - Research Infrastructure Support).

Innovative products benefitting patients
The first innovation to come out of LARA 3D is an implantable mandibular reconstruction plate for people diagnosed with a cancer of the mouth affecting the jawbone. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, makes it possible to solve conformity problems with industrial prostheses, which are normally made for a patient type and therefore never perfectly adapted to affected patients.

The implant can now be custom designed based on the internal imaging of the patient to match the unique contours of the bone to be repaired. The implant is manufactured from biocompatible metals through Laser Power Bed Fusion or electron-beam 3D printing. LARA 3D also has specialized equipment to finish the pieces, ensure their quality and traceability, and clean and sterilize them before delivery to the medical team.

Steps to obtain ISO 13485 certification are being carried out in order to ensure the development and manufacture process of specific prostheses meets the strictest quality management requirements for the production of medical devices. Work is taking place at the same time in preparation for the submission of a homologation application from Health Canada with the goal of having a 3D-printed implantable medical device approved, which would be a first for a Canadian manufacturer.

The production of orthopaedic prostheses with additive manufacturing will increase the quality of care in Quebec. Time and therefore the costs of surgery will be reduced, and the implant will be better adapted and more comfortable for the patient, enabling faster recovery.

The private sector implicated
The entire additive manufacturing sector of Quebec, including its companies specializing in modelling, powder production, and 3D printing, will benefit from LARA 3D’s equipment and expertise and will be able to participate in the advancement of knowledge and techniques. Alkom Digital (an orthopaedic screws manufacturer) and AP&C (which produces metal powders for 3D printing) are already partners in the implantable mandibular plate project.

At the centre of a new hub of Quebec expertize in medical 3D printing, LARA 3D will make producing other orthopaedic implants possible by partnering with the private sector in addition to stimulating the creation of very high-quality specialized jobs.

To find out more about LARA 3D, watch this video.

“Very high-tech infrastructures are essential to ensure quality, high-performance, and competitive research. They also increase our capacity to attract and retain first-class researchers. With the creation of the 3D anatomical reconstruction laboratory, Quebec researchers have once again made a name for themselves and confirmed the competitive position of our research institutes internationally. The Quebec government has reinforced its commitment to support collaborative research and innovation, particularly in the medical field, since these results aim to improve not only the work of healthcare professionals, but also patients’ quality of life.”

Pierre Fitzgibbon, Economy and Innovation Minister

“Medical 3D printing will significantly change hospitals by facilitating difficult reconstruction surgeries, reducing both operation and recovery times for patients, making it possible to produce custom implants at accessible costs. As a leader in additive manufacturing in Quebec, Investissement Québec - CRIQ is proud to open up new possibilities, not only for the healthcare sector, but for Quebec’s entire 3D printing ecosystem, because these infrastructures will also enable other companies to develop their own expertise and innovative products.”

Lyne Dubois, Vice-President, Investissement Québec - CRIQ

“With innovation being one of the central values of CHU de Québec-Université Laval, advances in medical 3D printing are concrete examples of the reach of our clinical research mission, which let us push the boundaries of science even further. We are very proud of this personalized medicine project steered by the Gaston Bernier team and our partners at Investissement Québec - CRIQ, who took part in this adventure for the benefit of our patients.”

Martin Beaumont, President and CEO, CHU de Québec - Université Laval 

Investissement Québec - CRIQ is an applied industrial research centre offering Quebec companies technological support and industrial innovation services in addition to carrying out simulations and a multitude of product trials and analyses. While supporting their technological transition, Investissement Québec - CRIQ enables companies to increase their productivity, competitiveness, and environmental performance and gain export market shares with compliant, value-added products. With its multidisciplinary team, state-of-the-art laboratories, and extensive network of partners, Investissement Québec - CRIQ has been an industrial innovation leader in Quebec for 50 years.

Combining the CHUL, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement, and Hôpital Saint-François d’Assise, CHU de Québec - Université Laval is the largest university hospital centre in Quebec and one of the largest in Canada. Providing general and specialized care, but especially super-specialized care, CHU de Québec-Université Laval (CHU) serves the entire population of eastern Quebec—a community of nearly two million people. Closely linked to Université Laval and future-oriented, it also has a mission of teaching, research in many fields of excellence, and evaluation of technologies and methods of health intervention. CHU has over 12,500 employees; 1,500 doctors, dentists, and pharmacists; 527 regular and associate researchers; 1,434 research professionals; 1001 graduate students; and 412 volunteers.

Follow us on:
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/investissement-quebec/
Facebook: facebook.com/InvestissementQuebec
Twitter: twitter.com/InvestQuebec

SOURCE Investissement Québec

For information: Annie Morin, Communications Advisor, Investissement Québec, annie.morin@invest-quebec.com, Tel. 418-808-3775; Bryan Gélinas, Advisor - Public and Governmental Affairs and Special Projects, CHU de Québec - Université Laval, bryan.gelinas@chudequebec.ca, Tel. 418-525-4387 

Related links