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Spotlight on 3D printing in medicine

What can print today and what breakthroughs await us? The use of 3D printing is mostly spoken in the context of industry and production. Recently, however, this method successfully penetrates into medicine.

More and more scientists and doctors experimenting with so-called biotiskem, ie printing or biological materials such as prostheses. The media are therefore more likely to be reported on the successful use of 3D prints in the treatment of various diseases. Which diseases will be possible in the future thanks to 3D printing successfully treated and how 3D printing is used in medicine today?

Prosthetics and assistive devices: prints dentures and hearing aids

3D printing technology helps in the production of prostheses and assistive devices. Prostheses with 3D printers manufactured today, although so far only on a small scale. Even so, their production does not necessarily take place only in large medical corporation. In 2013, for example, news has spread around the world by Englishman Paul McCarthy, who printed his son robotic prosthesis at home 3D printer. This was enough instructions he found on the internet. His son was born with no fingers on one hand and with the printed mechanical prosthesis could first grasp various objects, which significantly improved the quality of life. The award thus made prosthesis McCarthy enumerated a few dollars. 3D technology is also applied in the production of hearing aids. According to estimates by the British analyst Phil Reeves is the world's currently in circulation over 10 million printed hearing aids. Hearing may also help you without you knowing about it.

Today, while not print a prosthesis health functions, but also those whose purpose is purely aesthetic. Scientists from British Sheffield can, for example, to print a very natural prosthetic nose or ears. The same team is also working on printing ocular prostheses. In the case of artificial eyes, whose handmade comes down to $ 10,000, 3D printing is very promising. To its ability to render the finest details and dentures so they look very faithfully. Their production while only come to $ 160.

Burns and skin injuries: music of the future with the ethical question marks

In the treatment of skin lesions with 3D printing still mainly located in the stages of development and testing. Currently, scientists are exploring the possibility of combining technology and 3D printing technology for growing stem cells. For example, in the Netherlands, working professionals on a project SkinPrint, within which the stem cells should form a straight refill printers.

"In addition to the technical challenges in the case of 3D printing skin and other soft tissues discovers new question of ethics production of these materials. The use of living materials for the so-called biotisk passes will debate that will be mainly in custody, amendments and regulations grown around living cells. Part of the debate will certainly also the topic of stem cells, their use for scientific purposes in many countries is still prohibited, "says Jan Škopík of 3Dfactories company that manufactures industrial 3D printers. It is interesting that scientists have already solved the printed color and skin tone. The reason it is possible to use biotisku not only therapeutic, but also cosmetic medicine.

Fractures and bone damage: 3D printing helps today

3D printing is also ideal method of support or bone substitutes. Refunds will be using special because of measurement and 3D scanning customize tailor-made for patients and their injury or illness. Thanks to advances in the production of materials for 3D printing are now doctors are able to refund printed in these patients to implant so that they not only fit, but mainly cause the body's negative reaction to a foreign body. In mid-2013, for example, managed through special 3D compensation to replace the U.S. 75% of the patient's skull.

Special polymer implant called Osteofab was also designed to support the growth of other tissues, faster recovery of the patient and in the future also enable control X-rays. Another example is the success of the British surgeon Craig Gerranda. He recently was printed voperoval replacement pans men, who had to be original bone removed due to cancer. The implant material of the solid titanium was formed from a 3D printer titanium powder converted into a solid mass with a laser. The implant was also covered with mineral which stimulate growth of the original bone, as in the case of an American patient.

Human bodies: a promising research

Organ failure is a serious life-threatening condition. Therefore viewfinders innovators biotisku focus on the possibility of compensation of damaged organs. In connection with the press organs most often speaks about the company organs, which has developed a technology for printing small samples of human liver tissue. Samples were also able to survive a few days. Although the Organovo promising results, the print function of the liver will still have a long way to go. At present, the company is able to print only one type of cell, which is not enough. Human authorities have in fact composed of many types of cells that are functionally linked.

Source: tz 3Dfactories

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