Washington State University researchers are reporting that they have successfully used a 3D printer to create a bone-like structure that can be used in orthopedic procedures, dental care and to deliver medicine for treating osteoporosis.
Paired with actual bone, it acts as a scaffold for new bone to grow on and ultimately dissolves with no apparent ill effects.
The 3D printer works by having an inkjet spray a plastic binder over a bed of powder in layers of 20 microns, about half the width of a human hair. Following a computer’s directions, it creates a channeled cylinder the size of a pencil eraser according to the Washington State University article.
After just a week in a medium with immature human bone cells, the scaffold was supporting a network of new bone cells.
To hear more about this amazing process, watch the following video —
For more about this story see: 3D printer used to make bone-like material