Medical Equipment & Medicine
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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. According to the researchers, It is the first custom-made implant in the world to replace an entire lower jaw. Normally it takes a few days to produce a custom implant, but with 3D printing technology it takes only a few hours. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
There's nothing like being able to hold something in your hand and inspect it. 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.
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.
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a new way to 3D print bioscaffolds. 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.
"Scaffolds are three dimensional structures on which organic material (cells) may grow into properly formed tissue structures." by Nov 6
You're interested in 3D printing, but don't have a 3D printer. You also don't want to pay a high price to a 3D print service to obtain a print of your own 3D design. What do you do?
This is suppose to repace organs by Nov 6
Both ProMetal and Sintef have been working on metal printing processes, quite different from traditional plastics and powders of other 3D print processses. 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?
Commercial 3D printer manufacturer Objet has released a new very interesting print material: MED610, which is a transparent bio-compatible substance. 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:
Printing solid objects is pretty easy: you just extrude/fuse/sinter/flash the layers and you've got your whatever-it-is-you-wanted. It's easy because typically these 3D prints are a uniform material all the way through.
We encountered several reports dealing with the fantastic idea of printing human organs using 3D printing technology. The premise is to deposit cells in the appropriate shape. Various prototypes have been attempted, including liver tissue, branched vascular trees and cartilage.
We ran across an interesting video that talks about Materialise's ventures into the medical manufacturing space. 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.
transform medical 2D CT or MRI data into usable 3D models by Nov 6
Did you ever take a very close look at your fingers? 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. This is their "X-Finger" product.
New Scientist reports on a medical breakthrough using 3D printing: exact replicas of finger bones have been produced. 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.
Objet's 3D printers seem to be taking hold in various medical applications, according to information passed our way. Here are four interesting approaches: Biorep Technologies creates tools for diabetes researchers and has created a "Pinch Valve" for indexing fluids and avoiding contamination of equipment and fluids, as well as a silicone membrane petri dish Arch Day Design creates tiny objects that interlock inside arthroscopic surgery patients to guide the microscopic tools.