Courtesy Washington State University
Team: Washington State University
How it's made: Researchers print scaffolds with a ceramic powder (human bone is 70 percent ceramic), using the same 3-D printers that produce metal parts found in electric motors. An inkjet covers the ceramic with a layer of plastic binder. This structure is baked at 2,282˚F for 120 minutes and placed into a culture with human bone cells. After a day, the scaffold supports them.
Benefit: Every year, millions of automobile-accident survivors suffer from complex fractures, which are difficult to repair using traditional methods. Using MRIs for reference, doctors could print a custom graft that perfectly matches the fracture.