Danish startup, Particle3D, are developing a way to 3D print bones and give patients a safer option when it comes to reconstructive surgery.
The materials used in the 3D printing consist of “bio-ink” made from tricalcium phosphate (TCP) powder particles and fatty acids. These materials will degrade over time and help stimulate brown growth. Basically, they remodel into actual bone tissue.
The benefits of using 3D printed bones are numerous, such as lower risk of infections, customization, and a shorter time-to-market. However, since its still in the early phases, it isn’t without its drawbacks.
These 3D printed bones aren’t ready for load-bearing bones, such as any of the bones in people’s legs. The materials have a lower compressive strength, but it doesn’t mean they’ll eventually get there. It may be a while before the materials reach that level and even then it might not be the same as healthy bones. Time will tell, but things are looking optimistic as technology continues to advance rapidly.
The merging of 3D printing and the medical field is looking to be a great stride for people in need of transplant and implant surgery. Not only are bone implants becoming possible, but also organs as well are being looked into.