Colombian researchers have developed biocompatible implants for patients who have suffered serious head injuries and which are based on 3D imaging of the patient known as tomography.

These implants for people with cranioencephalic traumas are far less costly than those available in the United States,

The scientific breakthrough dubbed Smartbone originated at the EAFIT and CES Universities in Medellin, both specialising in science and technology, from an applied research project of bioengineering experts, which their leader Santiago Correa described to the news service Colombia.inn.

With this technology, patients with head injuries can have the part of the skull that protects the brain replaced and at the same time save the fortune it would cost to import the implants from countries like the United States, which makes 85 per cent of these pieces worldwide.

The cost of Smartbone implants is between 50 and 60 per cent less, Correa said.

The prosthesis is designed at the Smartbone facilities by means of software that makes a three-dimensional reconstruction based on the patient's tomogram.

"With this information we model the complete bone structure and design the implant," the researcher said.

Since April, six head-trauma patients have been operated on in Medellin and have recovered functionally and aesthetically thanks to the implants, which because they are biocompatible are not rejected.

The surgery, which lasts between 45 minutes and an hour, "reduces surgical risks, the time spent under anaesthesia, and the risks of bleeding and infection," Correa said, adding that the neurosurgeon previously makes the implant in the same operating room.