April 10, 2014

A Japanese research team, consisting of researchers from the NEXT21 K.K., University of Tokyo and Riken has developed the world's first 3D printer used to create custom-made artificial bone. The pre-clinical studies conducted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, or NEDO showed positive results. The team has filed for PMDA (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency) approval to manufacture and sell artificial bones in the Japanese market, the NEDO announced on April 7.

3D printer used to create custom-made artificial bone / Image credit: NEDO, NEXT21

The printer can print bone structures and reproduce a shape in the unit of 0.1mm. This new printing method does not require a thermal process, making it possible to realize biologically active artificial bones.

The printing material contains calcium phosphate, a family of ions that makes up the bulk of bones and tooth enamel. NEDO says compared to conventional products, it is much easier to integrate the 3D printed bones with patient's natural bones. The 3D printed bones are quickly fused with natural bones and transformed into new vital bone (via bone regeneration).

A defect bone (left) and a made-to-order artificial bone (right) / Image credit: NEDO, NEXT21

The examination period could be around 10 months. And the NEXT21 K.K has conducted a clinical trial on a national scale. The printer and 3D printed bones are expected to be put into use in 2015.

The NEXT21 K.K says it plans to sell the technology first in the domestic market, and then export to other Asian countries. Companies have shown high interests towards the technology. The team has already started the license/contract negotiations with the companies in Canada and the Netherlands.

 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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alvaro wrote at 4/11/2014 1:34:01 PM:

A good an amazing news!. The 3D printers are changing the healthcare.



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