Awhile back, we told you about the amazing 3D-Printed bones designed by Dr. Susmita Bose.
Since then, there’s been another development that will add to the final consumer product, just like the 3D-Blueprinting side we saw from the guys who put the motorcyclist back together.
–What Dr. Richard Oreffo’s team did was to research all different kinds of Materials, Composites, Plastics, Minerals and many different kinds of Shapes & Layouts. -And they arrived at something really interesting.
It’s like a Coral Reef for your skeleton. Much like Spider Cast, the Oreffo team discovered a very neat trick: Holes.
Not only is their composite both a pairing of the Best Plastics, and also the Best Minerals, but they’re also 3D-Printed into the best SHAPE.
And their models leave all kinds of room for things to grow back Extremely-Similar to original bone.
The holes in their Honeycombed CORTEX-Style design leave plenty of space for the formation of marrow & blood-supply that happens in real bone to take place just as well in the patches or replacements a patient would get.
-In addition to eventually being completely taken-over & turned right into bone eventually, the way the best printed-parts should. And the type of Plastic-Mineral Composite really Does make a difference.
The best part? All of this starts out super-fast, because the Oreffo honeycombs also get soaked with your own Stem-Cells first, so it’s like watching a time-lapse video of one of those artificial reefs being repopulated in the ocean.
And though there are other super sexy solutions out there like Titanium Foam, it’s likely Dr. Richard’s patches will be Miles cheaper, because they use non-exotic, standard chemistry items that can be bought at large-scale & low-cost, instead of exotic things sourced from Siberia that need intricate heavy-machining.
The guys on this U. Southampton team have solved several of the biggest problems involved with a patch or replacement. Cost, Speed+Versioning, Flexibility, Multiple Biological Functions, & Dissolution/Integration to name a few.
Now as soon as they get the details worked out for human-size applications in large weight-bearing limbs & joints, a brand-new skeleton will only be a short trip to Kinko’s away.
Photo Credits: “Sweet Gold”, by Jason Devaun
• Source: Southampton U.
• More Coverage: Telegraph | PolymerSolutions
• Source Study: AFM-Discovery and Evaluation of a Functional Ternary Polymer Blend for Bone Repair: Translation from a Microarray to a Clinical Model