3-D Printing May Hold Key to Bone Replacement

For now, 3D printing’s use in medicine is still largely confined to the lab. Susmita Bose, the WSU bone printer, has been developing artificial bone-like materials with her husband, Amit Bandyopadhyay, since the late 1990s, and attracted attention this week with successful in vitro growing actual bones around artificial scaffolds. They’re not exactly printing human skeletons quite yet. However, artificial bone scaffolds would enable doctors to repair defects or injuries without taking a bone graph from elsewhere in the patients body or using a synthetic mesh material that can have negative long-term effects. Produced using a 3D inkjet printer — that’s right — and a bone-like ceramic, Bose’s scaffolding harmlessly dissolves as new bone grows around it. “We have tested it in small animal models and we have seen that bone grows over them very well,” Bose told The Atlantic Wire. “We have also tested them with human bone cells and we’ve seen that bone will grow over them very well.”

I would imagine the ink cartridges for this are going to be eeeeeeeexpensive.

[Via The Atlantic Wire]

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