The 3D printing technology has caught on about 20 years ago, but prices have become more affordable only recently, so began a widespread use of the technique. One of the best applications of 3D printing is the reproduction of parts of the body. The level of detail that the technology can produce often exceeds the traditional methods, offering patients greater comfort and a better design, but also in a very low cost.
The researchers used 3D printing for the production of a wide variety of human body parts. A trio of students of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has produced a robotic arm for a young girl who had lost his in an accident. The patient, Sydney Kendall, can take advantage of shoulder movement to control the arm to perform simple movements such as throwing a ball or move the mouse. Great benefits at low cost: the arm has come to cost just $ 200 compared to $ 6,000 for traditional dentures.
A major outcome has been achieved on a young Swedish woman who has undergone surgery to replace nearly all the bones of the skull with 3D printing systems . The procedure was performed by a team of neurosurgeons at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht. The woman was suffering from a chronic bone disorder and the thickness of her skull grew from 1.5 cm to 5 cm, and consequently, she began to lose her sight . If her skull had not been replaced, she would have had serious brain damage.
Adding to the list of patients who have used 3D printing, there is an English woman named Meryl Richards who was injured in a car accident about 40 years ago. After about six operations failed to rearrange the problem, she received a hip created with the 3D printer at Southampton General Hospital. To draw the articulation of titanium, has been used a CT scanner. Before surgery, were removed from the hip stem cells that are subsequently cultured to produce a greater number. These cells were then implanted into the patient to encourage the formation of new bone around the implant
A British company called Fripp Design has collaborated with several universities in the United Kingdom, in order to produce both facial and eyes prosthesis. The level of detail is amazing and ocular prostheses are created in a variety of formats with accurate color matches.
Scientists at Princeton University last year, revealed their “bionic ear”, which is able to detect a wide range of radio frequencies far greater than humans . The ear is formed by layers of a matrix composed of hydrogel cells and bovine with silver nanoparticles that form a spiral shaped antenna . The cells were then transformed into bovine cartilage. Scientists hope to develop the technology so that it is able to detect acoustic sounds, and suggest perhaps one day could be used to restore or improve the human ear.