3D printing is very helpful in the field of medicine. In fact, many hospitals from different countries in Europe are now using 3D printing to create human bones used in bone surgery. The Japanese company, Next 21, is behind the endeavor of developing artificial bone graphs using 3D printing. It aims to replace the methods of traditional bone grafting that does not only take a lot of time but also effort and money.
The technology developed by Next 21 is called CT-Bone where the CT scans of the patient’s bones are taken in order to determine the size and shape of the bone that will be needed for the operation. The artificial human bones are printed using inkjet 3D printing process.
Researchers from the University of Tokyo originally developed this technology but has been licensed to next 21 since the 30th of April this year. So what makes the 3D printed bone better than traditional bone grafting? It does not use heat thus it promotes faster fusion to the patient’s bone thus healing time is cut in half. This technology is also less prone to infection and bodily rejections because it is made from inert materials, unlike conventional bone grafting.
The 3D printers used for this technology are able to print accurately thus making the synthetic bones fit on a patient to patient level. Currently, many European countries are using this innovation in their hospitals and it likely that it will reach the shores of other countries soon.