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OsBot Human Bone Replicating 3D Printer will be ready soon?
Advances in 3D printing technology have begun to have a transformative effect on the medical community. We’ve all read the stories of 3D printed hands and other prosthetic devices, but that is only scratching the surface of how 3D printing has changed the way doctors treat our medical problems.
MRI’s can easily be turned into 3D models now, allowing doctors to pre-plan difficult or dangerous surgeries using 3D printed replicas of the areas being targeted by surgeons. They can also 3D print surgical guides, making tricky procedures like bone setting or reconstructive surgery faster and more accurate.
But a team of sharp, well-inspired student at Cal State Long Beach promised to go further, thus winning a $10,000 prize to develop a new generation of human tissue printers:
A group of students developing a 3D printer that is capable of replicating human bone structures has been awarded as the Cal State Long Beach Innovation Challenge winners. The LuxNova OsBot 3D printer was developed by a group of students who say that it can replicate the unique and complex structure of human bones, even down to the micro and nanostructures.
Direct bone transplants aren’t especially common as a broken bone can usually heal itself if it is set correctly. However there are certain types of bone cancers that currently require amputation to prevent the cancer cells from spreading. Bones printed with the OsBot could be used as grafts to replace cancerous tissue without partial or complete amputation.
The bones printed with the LuxNova OsBot 3D printer could also change the way common procedures like hip replacements are performed. The closer the 3D printed bone material matches actual bone the less chance there is of the body rejecting it, and healing time would be dramatically improved. Less common procedures like rotationplasty would also benefit from this 3D printed bone material, and given enough experimentation it could even become unnecessary and obsolete.