3D printing of bones can reduce hospital costs

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Cortex
Cortex cast

In what could have a tremendous cost-saving effect especially for hospitals in emerging countries, medics are now experimenting with new ways of healing broken bones by using 3D printing technology, either for tailor-made casts or for rebuilding bones itself.

At the Victoria University in New Zealand, a graduate has developed a cortex cast, a breathable, lightweight, recyclable and washable exoskeleton that mimics the body’s inner bone structure. X-ray is being used to determined the bone structure and the fractures, after the limb is getting 3D scanned and then the cast is getting 3D printed for a perfect fit to be used by the patient.

In another development, surgeons in the UK have developed a programme that is supposed to save hospitals thousands of dollars – and potentially many lives as well – by 3D printing bones. Traditionally, bone models were not made for most patients’ cases because they cost the hospital thousands of dollars and take many weeks to complete. The new 3D printed models run around $150, take just a week to complete and ship and can help surgeons prepare for complex operations before their patients are even brought into the operating room.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham in England are even working on a system that involves 3D printing a tissue using living stem cells to reconstruct human bones. To create the bone replacement, a 3D bioprinter creates a scaffold in the shape of the bone, and coats it with adult human stem cells, which are capable of developing into many different tissue types.

The printed product can be implanted in the body, where the scaffold will degrade and be replaced by new bone within about three months,

See other ways to use 3D printing in medicine.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Cortex cast

In what could have a tremendous cost-saving effect especially for hospitals in emerging countries, medics are now experimenting with new ways of healing broken bones by using 3D printing technology, either for tailor-made casts or for rebuilding bones itself.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Cortex
Cortex cast

In what could have a tremendous cost-saving effect especially for hospitals in emerging countries, medics are now experimenting with new ways of healing broken bones by using 3D printing technology, either for tailor-made casts or for rebuilding bones itself.

At the Victoria University in New Zealand, a graduate has developed a cortex cast, a breathable, lightweight, recyclable and washable exoskeleton that mimics the body’s inner bone structure. X-ray is being used to determined the bone structure and the fractures, after the limb is getting 3D scanned and then the cast is getting 3D printed for a perfect fit to be used by the patient.

In another development, surgeons in the UK have developed a programme that is supposed to save hospitals thousands of dollars – and potentially many lives as well – by 3D printing bones. Traditionally, bone models were not made for most patients’ cases because they cost the hospital thousands of dollars and take many weeks to complete. The new 3D printed models run around $150, take just a week to complete and ship and can help surgeons prepare for complex operations before their patients are even brought into the operating room.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham in England are even working on a system that involves 3D printing a tissue using living stem cells to reconstruct human bones. To create the bone replacement, a 3D bioprinter creates a scaffold in the shape of the bone, and coats it with adult human stem cells, which are capable of developing into many different tissue types.

The printed product can be implanted in the body, where the scaffold will degrade and be replaced by new bone within about three months,

See other ways to use 3D printing in medicine.

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