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More “Wow”

I don’t know if you’re aware, but 3D printing has been around for a few years now. 3D printers move back and forth over the printing surface like a regular ink jet printer would, only instead of spraying a bit of ink on a piece of paper, they squirt (the official term appears to be “extrude”) a bit of plastic (or other material) and instead of moving back and forth in only 2 dimensions, they repeat the process building layers until 3 dimensional objects are created.  (Here’s a short time-lapse video of the process.)  I thought the most common printing material was plastic, but I’ve heard of 3D printers being set up to print with chocolate and other food.  The technology has come far enough that you can buy your own personal 3D printer.  I found several available including this one for only $1749.00.

OK, ABS plastic gadgets and toys and custom chocolate designs are cool.  Using this kind of technology to print a custom titanium jawbone is way beyond cool.  From the video description:

An 83-year-old European woman is able to chew, speak and breathe normally again after a machine printed her a full new jawbone and it was integrated in an operation in the Netherlands.  The Belgian patient who received the implant had developed a chronic bone infection in almost her entire lower mandible, and doctors removed it rather than risk reconstructive surgery, according to LayerWise the European company that built the new jawbone in Leuven, Belgium. (…) In this operation, a 3D printed titanium scaffold was steeped in stem cells and allowed to grow biocompatible tissue inside the abdomen of the recipient.

Custom printed 3D titanium replacement jawbone.

Biocompatible tissue coating the jawbone grown from stem cells inside the patient.


(Via GeekPress)

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Rat Jr.No Gravatar | February 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m broken, they can print me a whole new internal female workings.

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