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Researchers achieve breakthrough in stronger 3D printed bone implants – 3ders.org (blog)

by • February 1, 2016 • No Comments

Feb 2, 2016 | By Kira
Researchers at Nottingham Trent University have not long ago achieved a leading step forward in improving the durablity of 3D printed bone implants, which may assist cancer patients or chance victims who have suffered worthwhile bone loss recover faster than at any time. The novel 3D printing system involves manipulating and freezing the growth crystals inside a 3D printed material, which reduces the fabrication time of 3D printed bone implants while improving their overall toughness.

Manolis Papastavrou with a 3D printed bone scaffold sample
3D printed synthetic bone implants are may already being utilized to treat patients and assist them recover of bone loss. The scaffolds fundamentally act as tailor-made, temporary ‘bridges’, enabling for the regeneration of the patient’s effortless tissue. Because the 3D printed bones are made in part of the same minerals discovered in effortless bone material, they retain a much like level of porosity, enabling the effortless bone to grow throughout. Once their job is done, the synthetic bone structures dissolve harmlessly into the patient’s body.
3D printing innovation in allowed for worthwhile manufactures it to in these synthetic bone implants. Making use of patient-specific imaging data, doctors can 3D print bone implants to the precise measurements and specifications required of every individual. In the past, doctors in China made a 3D printed vertebra for a 12-year-old boy, as well as a 3D printed titanium sternum implant. 3D printing innovation has in addition allowed researchers to use high end, biocompatible 3D printing materials, which include K2M’s Lamellar Titanium Technology, or extrudable calcium phosphate composites.
Despite all of these successful cases howat any time, finding a way to improve the strenght of 3D printed bones while retaining the structures’ porosity yet requires work. Today’s research news suggests which crystals grown in sub-zero temperatures can provide a viable solution.

A micro-computed tomography image of the sample bone scaffold
The achievement of the Nottingham Trent researchers comes down to their novel combination of 3D printing and freezing the bone scaffolds’ microstructures. “This research demonstrates how 3D printing in combination with freezing can reduce worthwhilely the fabrication time and cost of such medical devices,” said Manolis Papastavrou, a PhD candidate and member of the University’s Design for Health and Wellbeing Research Group.
“The secret behind the toughness of most biological materials is the way their components are arranged of the molecular all the way up to a macro level. Making use of this create strategy may assist engineer bone scaffolds, whose porosity does not compromise their durablity.” Papastavrou introduced which in the long term, this discovery may offer to replacing the use of metal in orthopaedic implants altogether, meaning implants may be made entirely of biocompatible materials which can be broken down by the body.
The 3D printed bone implant research was presented at a conference titled Printing for the Future, which took place at the Institute of Physics, London.
“By manipulating the growth of crystals in a 3D printed material, we can improve the microstructures of bone scaffolds to manufacture them stronger and may assist folks who’ve suffered a leading injury or illness manufacture a swifter recovery,” introduced Professor Philip Breedon of the University’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, who in addition oversaw the research. “This research is a real step forward as it shows how we can use 3D printing to improve biomaterials without the require for achieving high resolution.”

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