The medical uses of 3D printing continue to expand, almost daily. One of the more promising applications for health related 3D printing includes the printing of bone like structures of which actual bone can easily fuse with. This is just what researchers from NEXT21, Riken, and the University of Tokya have been working on.
The researchers have developed a 3D printer capable of accuracies up to 0.1 mm. The amazing thing is that this machine is able to print in a calcium phosphate material, the same compounds found within human bones. Because of the biological similarities, this makes the technology perfect for bone implants, especially in patients who may have lost bone due to cancer or trauma. Surgeons will be able to insert an implant into a patient, and within weeks real bone will grow around, and fuse with the artificial printed bone.
In the early going, results have been positive in studies conducted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, and now researchers have filed for approval from the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency to produce and sell the artificial bones in Japan.
Once approval is recieved Next 21 plans to market the process within the Japanese market, and than expand it to the rest of Asia. In addition, they are working on licensing agreements with companies in The Netherlands as well as Canada. These printers could eventually be used to mend deformities, quickly heal injuries, and cut down the time it takes for recovery. Discuss 3D Bone printing at the 3DPrintBoard forum thread.
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