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Monday, 19 May 2014

The Future of YOU: This is the Human Body Designed by 3D printers

Susan Posel

Last month, doctors at the University Medical Center (UMC) in Holland have performed the first surgery using a skull made of plastic from a 3D printer.

After nearly 24 hours of surgery, the patient was fitted with this printed skull from Anatomics , one of the surgeons said: “We used to create an implant by hand in the operating theater using a kind of cement, but those implants did not have a very good fit. Now we can use 3-D printing to ensure that these components are an exact fit. This has major advantages, not only cosmetically but also because patients often have better brain function compared with the old method.”

Fripp Design and Research (FDR) have begun printing an estimated 150 prosthetic eyes to drive down cost.

These 3D printed manufactured eyes were made with slight variations in color to give them a more authentic look.

Keith Martin co-author of a study into the use and viability if 3D printed eyes: “The loss of nerve cells in the retina is a feature of many blinding eye diseases. The retina is an exquisitely organized structure where the precise arrangement of cells in relation to one another is critical for effective visual function.”

Martin continued: “Our study has shown, for the first time, that cells derived from the mature central nervous system, the eye, can be printed using a piezoelectric inkjet printer. Although our results are preliminary and much more work is still required, the aim is to develop this technology for use in retinal repair in the future.”

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