Broken No More: 3-D Printing Bone Repair Kits

December 2, 2011


Picture sufficiently related: bones.

I've broken my left (good) arm twice doing things (unspeakable ones!) I shouldn't have, and now I've got a plate and a bunch of screws and shit in there that set off the metal detector at the airport and get me pulled aside for a groping (which I don't mind). But now doctors are 3-D printing bone-healing "scaffolding" to help mend broken bones. But NOT hearts. God, go cry to your diary like a normal person.

"It can make bone scaffold using the material that you want very similar to human bone and it can fix the defect that the physician wants," Susmita Bose, a professor of mechanical and materials engineering at the university, explains in the video above.

In lab tests, after just a week in a medium with immature human bone cells, the scaffold supported a network of new bone cells.

Susmita and colleagues aim to insert these scaffolds into human bodies to repair broken bones. As the bone-like material dissolves, real bone tissue in the body will grow over it.

Awesome, but do you think we'll ever get to the point where we can print and replace ENTIRE BONES? And, if so, what about boners? "What about them?" How do they work? One minute you're soft, the next you're watching Jurassic Park and your pants are all tight -- it's weird!

3-D printers may soon fix broken bones [msnbc]

Thanks to todd the swallow, Luke and Amelia, who agree doctors should be printing their prescriptions instead of scribbling them. No shit they should -- one time the pharmacy gave me menopause hormones instead of antibiotics!

  • Guest

    We're a step closer to printing living things -- including the mighty unicorn. This does have pretty good applications, I suppose there will be little need for bone graphs. It'll probably cut down on some of the healing time since the bone form is already shaped.

  • Luis Francisco Olivares Cruz

    I want sauce on that picture

  • I could use one of those. It should come equipped with a scalpel and skin glue for easy home use.

  • Nathan Truitt

    I take it you broke bones often.

  • Indeed

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