Blog

3D-printed bones could be coming soon to a skeleton near you – Chicago Tribune


October 6, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 3D Printed Articles


Someday soon, customized bone implants could be as easy as a doctor scanning your body and switching on a 3D printer.

Ramille Shah, an assistant professor at Northwestern University, led the research on a new synthetic bone-replacement material.

The material is a printable ink made up of a calcium mineral and another polymer used in medical applications — and it’s more flexible than some existing materials used for implants, Shah said. The 3D-printed bones could also replace the use of metallic implants or those made from bone harvested from elsewhere in a body.

It would be ideal to implant in a hole left by a tumor in a bone, or in pediatric patients with congenital facial defects, she said.

“They can take a scan of the patient’s face and reconstruct — on the computer — an imprint that will be able to fix the defect or make the face more symmetrical, so it’s more aesthetically pleasing,” she said. “Once they have that scan, they see what exact size and shape will fit that patient.”

Northwestern scientists published research on the 3D-printed “hyperelastic bone” in the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine. Shah is an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and also of surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Shah said her team discovered the material several years ago and has been testing and researching it since then. Researchers tested the hyperelastic bone with human stem cells and in animal models.

Shah said the time from a scan to having a 3D-printed implant in hand could be 24 hours. She hopes the material can be used regularly in patients within 10 years, but that will depend on funding, clinical trials and FDA approval.

Dima Elissa ⇒, CEO and founder of medical 3D printing company VisMed-3D, said developments like this one will help doctors give patients implants that are more precise for their bodies and potentially reduce hospital readmissions.

She gave the example of being able to use 3D printing to form a better-fitting knee implant. Today, she said, there are limited selections for size.

“If we can then supplement bone material around an existing normative size … and I can build around it, I can create a better, more comfortable sizing and fit,” she said. 

mgraham@tribpub.com
Twitter @megancgraham

Someday soon, customized bone implants could be as easy as a doctor scanning your body and switching on a 3D printer.

Ramille Shah, an assistant professor at Northwestern University, led the research on a new synthetic bone-replacement material.

The material is a printable ink made up of a calcium mineral and another polymer used in medical applications — and it’s more flexible than some existing materials used for implants, Shah said. The 3D-printed bones could also replace the use of metallic implants or those made from bone harvested from elsewhere in a body.

It would be ideal to implant in a hole left by a tumor in a bone, or in pediatric patients with congenital facial defects, she said.

“They can take a scan of the patient’s face and reconstruct — on the computer — an imprint that will be able to fix the defect or make the face more symmetrical, so it’s more aesthetically pleasing,” she said. “Once they have that scan, they see what exact size and shape will fit that patient.”

Northwestern scientists published research on the 3D-printed “hyperelastic bone” in the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine. Shah is an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and also of surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Shah said her team discovered the material several years ago and has been testing and researching it since then. Researchers tested the hyperelastic bone with human stem cells and in animal models.

Shah said the time from a scan to having a 3D-printed implant in hand could be 24 hours. She hopes the material can be used regularly in patients within 10 years, but that will depend on funding, clinical trials and FDA approval.

Dima Elissa ⇒, CEO and founder of medical 3D printing company VisMed-3D, said developments like this one will help doctors give patients implants that are more precise for their bodies and potentially reduce hospital readmissions.

She gave the example of being able to use 3D printing to form a better-fitting knee implant. Today, she said, there are limited selections for size.

“If we can then supplement bone material around an existing normative size … and I can build around it, I can create a better, more comfortable sizing and fit,” she said. 

mgraham@tribpub.com
Twitter @megancgraham

Source from..

Comments