Printing Out Body Parts

Printing out body parts is not science fiction and it's not a coming technological change. It's reality. It's happening now.

83-year-old woman got 3D printed mandible 
The University of Hasselt (Belgium) announced today that Belgian and Dutch scientists have successfully replacing a lower jaw with a 3D printed model for a 83 year-old woman. According to the researchers, It is the first custom-made implant in the world to replace an entire lower jaw.
The lower jaw of the elderly woman was badly infected and needed to be removed. Considering the age of the patient, a "classical" microsurgical reconstructive surgery takes too long time and can be risky. Therefore a tailor-made implant is the best choice. 
Normally it takes a few days to produce a custom implant, but with 3D printing technology it takes only a few hours.

Sure, a lower jaw is a relatively simple structure to produce. But we're just getting started. And we already have a good idea where this will take us in the relatively near term. Exciting stuff.


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