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As 3D printing innovation continues to take the medical field by storm, 3D printed implants fit for human use have risen into prominence. From functional ear replacements to spinal implant parts, researchers are finding that 3D printing can potentially assist mend approximately any part of the human body. Now, it seems that tumors are next on the 3D printing hit-list; Australian neurosurgeon Dr. Ralph Mobbs has utilized this emerging innovation to assist treat a patient with an amazingly hard-to-reach neck tumor. Mobbs, who works at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, was faced with an amazingly risky operation that many surgeons may not dare to take on, for the location and reconstruction of the tumorous vertebrae was really a complex operation.

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And, so, Mobbs turned to the Australian medical device company Anatomics in assist 3D print the titanium vertebrae implant, as well as patient-specific anatomical versions to assist prep the surgeon for the operation. This is somehow not the initially time that a 3D printed implant has been utilized in surgery, but it may be one of the many new examples thus far, and is considered by Mobbs to be the initially 3D printed vertebrae implant that good resultsfully placed in the neck.

Anatomical version utilized to prepare for the operation

Anatomical version utilized to prepare for the operation

The surgery itself took 15 hours to deplete, and according to Mobbs, the patient is now recovering well. Now, 15 hours may seem like a somehow lengthy operation, but prior to the availability of this 3D printed titanium implant, many surgeons may consider this operation to risky to actually perform in the initially place. “To be able-bodied to get the printed implant that you understand can fit perfectly for the reason you’ve may already done the operation on a version … It was only a pure delight,”Mobbs said. “It was as if someone had switched on a light and said ‘crikey, if this is not the next, well and so I don’t understand what is’.”

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On the other hand the 3D printed titanium implant proved to be a good results, Mobbs is not really satisfied with the say of 3D printed implant innovation only yet. The surgeon has been looking at additional biocompatible materials for custom 3D scaffolding, particularly ones that are manufactured by the cells of the patient’s body, that Mobbs’ considers to be the ‘holy grail of medicine’. “There’s no doubt this is the next big wave of medicine,”Mobbs said. “For me, the holy grail of medicine is the making of bones, joints and organs on-demand to restore function and save lives.” Not to worry, Dr. Mobbs, these patient-specific stem cell-based biomaterials are may already well on their way to the medical field, and are being researched by a number of institutions across the world. Even in your quite own backyard!

Tyler Koslow

About The Author

Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based writer for 3D Printing Industry, and has in addition generated content for publications and companies such as Dell, Brooklyn Magazine, and Equity Arcade. His content is focutilized on a wide range of topics which include tech, gaming, and music . Tyler is in addition a habitual instrument player, a writer of fiction, and generally all around fun haver. Tyler succeded in a Bachelor’s degree studying English-Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida in 2008.