There are many applications today for 3D printing services. Most of the time, we are only familiar with how the manufacturing, fabricating and construction industries have tapped into the great potential of 3-dimensional printing with regard to their implemented systems and processes. Another field that has taken advantage of the 3D printing process is the aeronautics industry, but the field of medical science is the most recent addition to the list.
As a matter of fact, there is a group of prolific scientists from the University of Arizona that is currently working on perfecting their 3D printing process that centers on the effective treatment of human bone fractures.
They are prospecting that this technology they are trying to develop will be most beneficial to the US military. The US Department of Defense awarded the team, headed by a certain Dr. Szivek, who is a biomedical engineer, a $2 million grant just so they could accelerate the pace of their study in the hope that they would be able to provide the military sector a quick, instant fix that will efficiently consolidate fractured bone. In a layman’s term, a way to produce a 3D printed human bone.
The medical additive manufacturing sphere is obviously on the dynamic side these days and is growing at warp speeds. The line-up of application possibilities are as follows:
- Bio-printed human tissue
- 3D printed implants
- Manufacture of functional components
- Many more
It is an understatement to say that 3D technologies are evolving, but these developing changes are more than anticipated because they are being adapted to the individual needs of a patient, causing the medical sphere to develop even further. Dr. Szivek is proposing to meld the human adult stem cells to the 3D printer filament itself to relieve and treatment to fractures in human bones.
What Are the Next Steps for Us?
The current pilot studies are giving us positively good results, something for us to look forward to. Dr. Szivek asserts that they have successfully identified the right process that will significantly help in completing bone formation and cover a bone defect that will take approximately 3 to 4 months.
What their team is aiming for at the moment is to even further expedite that rate of the healing process. Medical professionals who are taking active participation in this study will look into the possible role of early morning exercise in accelerating recovery.
To verify if this theory is correct, the 3D printed bones will be equipped with bone scaffolds with built-in tiny sensors. They will be responsible for transmitting the patient’s physical activity. They will scrutinize the weight or the applied load to the bone scaffolding and the amount of time the activity lasted.
Should the carried out tests, later on, prove to be conclusive, the research team may make use of the information in putting together concrete post-surgical physical therapy guidelines to improve fractured human bone regeneration in the military sector.