We're already printing organs to order, so why not Cmd+P some customized 3-D bone? Washington State University researchers have tweaked a 3-D rapid prototyper designed to create metal parts to print in a bone-like material that acts as a scaffold for new bone cells. In just a few years, the researchers say, doctors and dentists could be printing up custom bone tissue to order.
Reported in the journal Dental Materials, the bone-like material appears to cause no negative side effects and eventually dissolves. But before doing so, it serves as a scaffold for new bone cells. Placed in a medium of immature human bone cells, the printed structures encourage the growth of new bone that fuses with existing bone tissue.
"If a doctor has a CT scan of a defect, we can convert it to a CAD file and make the scaffold according to the defect," Susmita Bose, co-author and professor in WSU's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, said in a press release.
In terms of potential for regenerative medicine, that's fairly huge. It opens the door to the ability to create perfect--or nearly perfect--replacement implants for damaged or deformed bone tissue and grow new, corrective bone that is the real thing rather than a ceramic or metal analog. And the procedure is relatively fast. Networks of new bone cells reportedly grew within the 3-D printed structures within just a week of placing them in a culture with immature bone cells.
I got a creepy thought: using this tech to get thinner bones to get a thinner body... The figure I'm imagining is gross.
Thanks! Good post!
this will help in bio-engineering, in the case of having to make different bone structures. Or Just help us to create some really cool monsters.
I wonder how this tech might eventually help amputees....
And how much such treatment might cost. IF they CAN replace a limb, but don't due to financial reasons.... wow.
hmm soldiers, or athelets with thicker denser bones,
heck i wonder if they could create say super tough ceramic or metalic bones with all the correct organic plumbing
or even better for old people with osteoperosis !
now if we can get some fully functioning artificial nerves...
Wow. Very interesting. I never thought of using a 3d printer for such a thing!
This technology appears to be great. The presentation is poor in this video, because the printing process is not realized and all we see is some logo and some bones that look plastic-like. Also, I think the video would benefit from some captions on the bottom for clarity. She speaks about spinal fusions but I like the application for bone defects better. Thanks for getting this information out.
Bring on the carbon lattice augmented bones and interweave sinew. We are quickly entering the age where the replacement "prostheses" will be better than what they are replacing.
The really cool thing is when they get the 3D printed Heart Valves and complex organs working.