A 3D printer works like an ordinary office printer in a lab at Case Western Reserve University, it is used for making models for medical research or to help plan surgeries. Additionally engineers, biologists, surgeons and chemists are working together to manufacture human tissue with 3-D printers.
"It's a fantastic tool for engineering purposes," says Ryan Klatte, a senior research engineer in the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. "To machine a part like this, it's a week's worth of work. We can build this overnight with the printer -- I don't know if you could even estimate how much time and money it saves us."
The largest 3D printer in the Clinic's lab cost about $250,000, it runs almost continuously making medical-device prototypes, blood-vessel models and life-size casts of organs. Surgeons and physicians can upload data from high-resolution CT and MRI scans to make the models, which are printed in 6/10,000th of an inch layers. These 3D models show a more precise picture of the patient's condition than that from a standard two-dimensional scan.
The CWRU team uses a 3D printer to produce 12-millimeter scaffolds made of a brittle polymer called poly(propylene fumarate) or PPF. They then soak the scaffolds and seed them with bone-marrow stem cells and growth factors, and place them in a bioreactor to allow the cells to grow for a few weeks.
They hope the recipient's body could recognize and remodel it. Other than that, researchers are stilling working on getting the PPF scaffold to go away when it's supposed to. PPF is nontoxic and breaks down easily, but it needs to hold up long enough to provide structure, and then degrade so that it doesn't get in the way of the growing bone.
Technically all these could be possible - but there is still a long way to go before we're there. "Within the next five years, we will have the ability to make 3D-printed body parts like bone scaffolds," says Jeffrey DeGrange, VP Direct Digital Manufacturing at Stratasys. Nima Samidi, a senior analyst at research firm IBISWorld, estimate that the bioprinting of organs like livers will take off in the next 10-15 years. When the parts could be built specifically for the patient, it is possible to bypass many complications of regular transplants and save more people's lives.
Read the original article here.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
Maybe you also like:
- 3D printed armband with cord organizer for 6th gen Ipod nano
- A trend of using 3D printers to make complex gear systems
- 3D print and build your own Vampire quadcopter
- Objet 3D Printer to appear in Channel 4's new series "Home of the Future"
- 3D printing a data sculpture of your digital identity
- 3D printed prosthetic hand awarded top innovation prize
- 3D printed bowl
- How far fashion goes using 3D printing this week
- 3D printing in school - Young students print their own head
- 8 Cool iPhone amplifiers created using 3D printer
- Swedish startup gets 3D printing into wedding industry
- 3D printed Cello Girl on Kickstarter
- First 3D printed Pirate Bay ship delivered with a hefty price tag
- Brendan Dawes' diary - Everything I make with my MakerBot
- 3D printed "Empty Chair"
- 3D printed Moineau soap dispenser
- 83 year-old woman got 3D printed mandible
- 15 year-old Laura played 3D printed violin on CNN
- Micah Ganske offers his artwork free download for 3D printing
Freedom wrote at 6/15/2013 1:38:50 AM:
When i see the combination of words "save peoples lives" and "patients".. I want to vomit and smash the hands that thunk it.