The healthcare sector is pouncing on the potential for great innovation using 3D technology, having had success with applications in dental and anatomical models, as well as surgical guides. The industry is now investigating new possibilities including custom prosthetics, implantable devices and Soft tissue and cell printing.
Here are some revolutionary products that you could see at your doctor’s rooms soon.
3D Systems and EksoBionics have developed a 3D-printed robotic suit to get paralysed individuals stand up and move around on their own. This wearable bionic suit is created with very fine details, using high-temperature laser sintering. The creators of the suit create a prototype for each person, which helps make the brace as comfortable, flexible, and durable as possible.
A new bio-printing method developed at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University creates intricately patterned, three-dimensional tissue with multiple types of cells and tiny blood vessels. This effectively means that the beginning of printing tissue and eventually body parts, which have the required blood vessels to continue to grow and thrive, is becoming increasingly viable. Furthermore, scientists at Organovo have printed bits of functional liver tissue in Petri dishes.
Accident victims and others who have suffered some injury will benefit from implantable cartilage that could eventually be implanted into injured parts. Growing cartilage in particular body parts of injured patients will be enabled by a hybrid printer that will help print 3D tissue using a traditional ink jet printer and an electro-spinning machine to build a structure made from natural and synthetic materials.
Complete skeletal components, such as skulls or pelvis can be printed by 3D. So far patients have parts of their skull replaced using 3D-printed prosthetic made of a high-performance polymer. Implants are created and shaped to match an individual’s anatomy.
Sols’s 3D-printed customized insoles are designed to help with foot pain and other ailments. Customers use a smartphone app to scan their feet and the image is quickly converted into a 3D model of consumers’ feet and prints out customized insoles. The nylon insoles are customised and coated in antimicrobial protection to reduce odour.
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