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Scientists Use 3D Printer To Create Replacement Bones

by Emily Price | December 1, 2011December 1, 2011 8:30 am PST

Researchers at Washington State University have discovered how to make synthetic bones. Using a 3D printer the scientists spray a plastic binder over bone-like calcium phosphate powder in layers of 20 microns (about half the width of a human hair) and essentially print a new bone.

The bones are designed to be used “in orthopedic procedures, dental work and to deliver medicine for treating osteoporosis,” and act kind of like a scaffolding for new bone to grow around, ultimately dissolving.

Researchers hope the technology will be fully tested in a few years, making it possible for patients to custom-order replacement bones.

Check out the video above for a more detailed explanation. Pretty amazing all that can be done with a 3D printer. What do you think?

[via Washington State University]

Emily Price

Emily has been obsessed with computers since the early 80s when she discovered she could play Ghostbusters on her father's Commodore 64. She...