Materialise establishes a Chair for patient-specific, image-based biomechanics at the University of Leuven

New chair stimulates research in and development of patient-specific biomechanical models and surgery simulations.

Leuven (Belgium), July 1, 2008. Starting from August 1, 2008, Materialise NV, world leader in software development for medical image processing, will support a new chair at the University of Leuven (Belgium). This chair will concentrate on research in the simulation of patient-specific interventions on the musculoskeletal system.

Materialise is an important pioneer in the field of medical imaging, editing and treatment planning based on CT and MRI data. The company laid the foundations for personalized clinical interventions and continues to play a leading role in this area. By establishing a chair for patient-specific, image-based biomechanics at the University of Leuven, Materialise stresses its innovative role even more. The chair will further investigate the possibilities of patient-specific treatment plans. With the funds that are invested now, a research group will be supported that concentrates on the development of personalized biomechanical models.

These personalized models help the surgeon decide which treatment plan will be best for each patient individually. General biomechanical models already exist for about ten years. However these general models often lack sufficient predictive value about how the patient's bones will evolve after a surgical intervention. The chair will focuss on developing a more patient-specific approach to this. Individual parameters, such as the dimensions and strength of the bones, will be added to the existing models.

Prof. Dr. Jos Vander Sloten, chairholder, explains the importance of such personalized models: 'Based on the personalized models that will be developed by this chair, surgeons can compare different treatment plans and evaluate which treatment offers the best result for the patient. With such a biomechanical model at their disposal, surgeons can simulate how the bones of one patient will evolve after the surgery under influence of a specific force or pressure.' This will lead to a better and more accurate treatment of the patient, and as consequence the recovery time of the patient is expected to be drastically reduced.

Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise NV has high expectations about the chair: 'This chair is a perfect match with Materialise' mission statement. From the moment we started this company, it was our purpose to create innovative products that would result in a better and healthier world. So it is clear that this chair is a logical step for Materialise. We have high expectations about the outcome of this project, and we are confident that these results will lead to a better healthcare.'

On July 10, 2008 this new chair will be officially established at the University of Leuven. The actual start of this chair is planned on August 1. Materialise has committed to support this chair for at least 4 years.

About Materialise

With its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium and branches all over the world, the Materialise Group is best known for its activities in the field of rapid industrial and medical prototyping. Apart from having the largest capacity of rapid prototyping equipment in Europe, Materialise enjoys a worldwide reputation as provider of innovative software solutions. As such, Materialise has acquired the position of market leader for 3D printing and Digital CAD software in addition to being a major player in medical and dental image processing and surgery simulation. Its medical and dental products are used worldwide by renowned hospitals, research institutes and clinicians. The group has several subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and the USA, and employs over 600 people in its 4 divisions.

For more information, go to www.materialise.com or contact dimitri.vanlessen@materialise.be

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