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Medical Equipment & Medicine

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83 year-old woman got 3D-printed mandible. 3D printed mandible (credit: University of Hasselt) The University of Hasselt (Belgium) has announced that Belgian and Dutch scientists have successfully replaced a lower jaw with a 3D printed model for a 83 year-old woman, 3Ders.org reports.

83 year-old woman got 3D-printed mandible

According to the researchers, It is the first custom-made implant in the world to replace an entire lower jaw. Neurosurgeons Are 3D Printing - Fabbaloo Blog - Fabbaloo. There's nothing like being able to hold something in your hand and inspect it.

Neurosurgeons Are 3D Printing - Fabbaloo Blog - Fabbaloo

You can look from all angles close or far and can use your sense of touch to aid in understanding completely what you've got. That's exactly the approach Hawaiian neurosurgeons at the Tripler Army Medical Centre are taking. They're able to plan their surgeries more easily and accurately. BioPrinting: Organovo Strikes Agreements - Fabbaloo Blog - Fabbaloo. Organovo, the bioprinting startup that hopes to eventually print whole replacement human organs, has struck agreements with two pharma companies to assist in drug testing.

BioPrinting: Organovo Strikes Agreements - Fabbaloo Blog - Fabbaloo

Organovo will print tiny scaffolds on which human tissue can grow into lifelike shapes. These shapes tend to be better grounds for drug testing, as cells in a simple petri dish tend to behave differently than they do in a human body. Testing efficiency should improve. Meanwhile, the income generated from these agreements will enable Organovo to maintain operations while they continue to work on their eventual goal of replicating human organs. Evidently Organovo is not yet "in the black", but such is the way of startup companies. Scaffolds are three dimensional structures. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a new way to 3D print bioscaffolds.

Scaffolds are three dimensional structures

Scaffolds are three dimensional structures on which organic material (cells) may grow into properly formed tissue structures. Typically the scaffold then dissolves, leaving the newly formed tissue. The new process involves hitting a liquid concoction mixture of polymers and proteins with a microchip laser pulse - but one only picoseconds in duration. The extremely short pulse is sufficient to cause reactions that solidify the liquid, but not long enough to damage any of the biomaterial. 3D Printing biomaterial with stem cells. More Metal - This Time Saving Lives! Both ProMetal and Sintef have been working on metal printing processes, quite different from traditional plastics and powders of other 3D print processses.

More Metal - This Time Saving Lives!

One of the barriers to more common use of 3D printing (aside from cost and print time) is the robustness of the printed objects. If only they could be printed in something stronger, like, say, metal? We'll add another metal service to the list today: Arcam AB, whose tagline is "CAD TO METAL". They're not kidding: During the CAD to Metal process, an electron beam melts metal powder in a layer-by-layer process to build the physical part. This process appears similar to that used by ProMetal, and may have been where Shapeways printed the winning design in Titanium.

Objet's Clear Bio-Material. Commercial 3D printer manufacturer Objet has released a new very interesting print material: MED610, which is a transparent bio-compatible substance.

Objet's Clear Bio-Material

You might think that making a clear, safe substance would be easy, but it's not. In order to qualify for such a designation numerous tests and certifications are required, and that's the tough work that Objet has completed. According to their description: The material is ideal for applications requiring prolonged skin contact of over 30 days and short term mucosal-membrane contact of up to 24 hours. Objet Bio-Compatible material has 5 medical approvals including Cytotoxicity, Genotoxicity, Delayed Type Hypersensitivity, Irritation and USP Plastic Class VI* While this material will typically be used for dental items, one wonders what one might print if we were able to use this material on our home 3D printers.

Printing Blood Vessels - Fabbaloo Blog - Fabbaloo. Organ Printing Pondered - Fabbaloo Blog - Fabbaloo. We encountered several reports dealing with the fantastic idea of printing human organs using 3D printing technology.

Organ Printing Pondered - Fabbaloo Blog - Fabbaloo

The premise is to deposit cells in the appropriate shape. Various prototypes have been attempted, including liver tissue, branched vascular trees and cartilage. The bad news is that the experts predict it could be decades before such technology is ready for common use. Transform medical 2D CT or MRI data into usable 3D models. We ran across an interesting video that talks about Materialise's ventures into the medical manufacturing space.

transform medical 2D CT or MRI data into usable 3D models

We've posted about medical uses of 3D print tech before, but Materialise specializes in this niche, and have for quite some time. Materialise produces 3D software specifically designed for this market: Mimics, which can transform medical 2D CT or MRI data into usable 3D models. From those models prosthetics or other medical implants can be derived.

In the video you'll see students using the software to design a prosthetic leg for Cassidy the dog. Fingers Restored By 3D Scanning - Fabbaloo Blog - Fabbaloo. Did you ever take a very close look at your fingers?

Fingers Restored By 3D Scanning - Fabbaloo Blog - Fabbaloo

They are incredibly complex machines, with not only shape and texture, but also motion. Imagine if fate caused the loss of one or more of them? There are solutions today, such as those produced by Didrick Medical, who make a kind of finger-harness that fits over the hand and implements an "active-function artificial finger prostheses". The design permits a variety of finger loss scenarios to be resolved. 3D model of a finger bone. New Scientist reports on a medical breakthrough using 3D printing: exact replicas of finger bones have been produced.

3D model of a finger bone

Christian Weinand of Berne Switzerland has been testing a new technique in which a 3D model of a finger bone is fed into a 3D printer, and an exact duplicate is printed. By using a suitable print medium (in this case "tricalcium phosphate and a type of polylactic acid - natural structural materials found in the human body") the resulting artificial bone can be inserted into the body and take over for the failed bone. Weinand says: In theory, you could do any bone.

Now I can put spares in my pocket if I want. Medical applications & Equipment.