3D Printing in Medicine - BNA iTech


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Monday, August 24, 2015

3D Printing in Medicine

3D printing has captured the popular imagination lately, but in the last year we’ve seen it used in medicine to help replace bones, bring prosthetic devices to people in war-torn regions, and even help in preparing for surgeries.


Create prosthetic arms using 3D printers. Not having to rely on expensive devices and outside expertise, trained teams of local engineers are able to provide custom prostheses to those touched by war. Even where peace has reigned, high school students are able to print prosthetic arms for their neighbors.

Still in pre-clinicial trials, but foreshadowing what we might see very soon in human patients, a drove of sheep successfully received printed meniscus replacements in their knees.

Some of the more radical uses of 3D printing technology include a woman in Holland who received a brand new skull and a man in the United Kingdom had his face reconstructed following an accident with the help of 3D printed components. Additionally, one-to-one replica skulls are being created from patient CT scans to prepare surgeons for challenging facial transplant procedures.

In China we saw printed titanium vertebral implants successfully used to address uncommon orthopedic conditions and to conform to unusual patient anatomies, while at the University of Michigan a tracheal splint to save a baby’s life was printed and implanted in a groundbreaking procedure.

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