Traditionally, there has always been some risk involved when implanting anything new into the human body, whether it’s an organ transplant, a bone graft or artificial implant. The body’s immune response is designed to reject anything foreign, and that includes organs or bone that come from other donors, as well as synthetic items. That’s why 3D bioprinting is so promising – if an organ can be created from a patient’s own cells, it eliminates the risk of rejection, because the body recognizes the new organ as already a part of itself.
3D printing has helped scientists to develop materials that carry a lower risk of rejection, too, like BGS-7, a bioactive glass material developed and patented by South Korean company CG Bio. The company has just been given approval by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to 3D print artificial cheekbones using the material. Unlike polymers or metals, BGS-7 bonds directly with bones when transplanted into a human body, and creates stronger bonds with bones than other bioceramics. It also has minimal risk of side effects or complications, and won’t be rejected by the body after reconstructive surgery.
“It is Korea’s first-ever 3D printing system using bioceramics that are most bone-friendly,” said Yoo Hyun-seung, CEO of CG Bio. “We will keep developing our technologies to apply the product to various bone losses.”
CG Bio uses all local materials in every stage of manufacturing, rather than relying on anything imported. The company was founded in 2006, and has long been focused on treating conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Recently, it began branching out into plastic and reconstructive surgery as well. CG Bio is a leading manufacturer and distributor of allograft and synthetic bone grafts, GMP grade growth factors and total wound care solutions.
Facial reconstruction is something that has only really advanced in the past few years, with the first partial face transplant taking place in 2005 and the first full one taking place in 2013. 3D printing and 3D modeling have helped these types of procedures advance even further. 3D printed facial implants have made a difference to many patients, and CG Bio’s innovation will make a difference to even more.
A person’s face is how they identify themselves and present themselves to the world, so a severe facial injury can be more upsetting than an injury to any other area of the body. Reconstruction is a delicate procedure involving delicate bones, and it’s important to both doctors and patients that the face can be made to look as much like it did before the injury as possible. With CG Bio’s product, patients can feel reassured that their implants are as close as possible to natural bone, and that they won’t likely have any complications that can make their condition worse.
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