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The Ultimate Worlds | December 12, 2017

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3D printing: towards artificial bone mass production?

3D printing: towards artificial bone mass production?
Romano Abraham

Japanese researchers have developed a new technique for producing artificial bone. Technical and therapeutic unprecedented breakthrough.

A new type of artificial bone was developed by the University of Tokyo and a medical company, in order to facilitate mass production. The objective is to have easy and always own bone transplantation.

By using a mold for injection and a 3D printer, several thousand units can thus be produced each day. The conventional method was to develop bone by the clump base materials by sintering, a method of manufacture of heating the powder without melting it. Under the effect of heat, the grains are welded therebetween, thereby forming the cohesion of the part.

But this technique is done at high temperature- 800°C – does not provide complete satisfaction. Bone produced in this manner are assimilated with difficulty to the bones of patients after surgery. Moreover, the cost of the process is very high, which makes mass production impossible.

An artificial bone bank

Innovation Japanese researchers should allow for the first time to mass produce bones that easily assimilate to the bone structure of patients after transplantation.

After improving their technology to better teams of the University of Tokyo and Next- 21 plan to conduct clinical tests in the year and market their product within 2 to 3 years. If the product is on the market, an artificial bone bank for storage can be created to keep several varieties of types and sizes of bones and thus be available for medical emergencies requiring rapid bone graft an accident .
In case of injury, good bone available

Potential patients would benefit from a prior scan – while they are still in good health – to get 3D data of their bones and save the data on a portable media thus containing all relevant information to the artificial bone bank to provide them with the necessary parts for transplantation in cases of medical emergency. Should they make a bad fall, get hurt skiing or suffer any injury involving broken bones, it would be possible to repair the damage using their own reconstituted bone.

In this technology, the major component of bone, calcium phosphate is heated to between 100 and 200°C which allows the fluidizes and injecting it into a mold, the method is ideally suited for mass production .

Dimensions based on those patient

The types of bones such as the humerus, femur, vertebra can be shaped in each mold to be produced in dimensions suitable for each patient depending on its size and age, the bone products are then stored in a library and delivered ready in a short time.

The use of 3D printer and injection molds is presented as an appropriate solution to quickly produce custom artificial bone, at lower cost and with better medical effectiveness. Japan approximately 80,000 patients undergo an operation involving a bone graft, the demand for such technology is important.