3D Printed Bone?

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A 3D printer is used to extrude the bio-ink (magenta) into a receptacle simulating a bone cavity
A 3D printer is used to extrude the bio-ink (magenta) into a receptacle simulating a bone cavity
UNSW Sydney

Presently, if a patient is missing a section of bone due to accident or disease, it has to be replaced with bone harvested from elsewhere in their body. A new cell-containing gel, however, could one day be 3D printed right into the injury, where it would then harden.

First of all, there are already a variety of experimental materials that can be placed in a cavity where bone is missing. These serve as a sort of three-dimensional micro-structured scaffolding, which cells from the adjacent bone tissue gradually migrate into. Those cells proceed to reproduce, until they eventually replace the material with actual bone.

Seeking a faster alternative, scientists at Australia’s University of New South Wales-Sydney have created a calcium phosphate-based “bio-ink” gel that already contains the patient’s own live bone cells. In a technique known as ceramic omnidirectional bioprinting in cell-suspensions (COBICS), that non-toxic gel is 3D-printed directly into the patient’s bone deficit. It proceeds to harden – within minutes of exposure to their bodily fluids – forming into a bone-like material consisting of mechanically interlocked bone mineral nanocrystals.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).