Do You Think this 3-D Printed Cast is the Future of Fixing Broken Bones?

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3-D printers have been in the limelight for long now for various reasons.

A lot of stuff were 3-D printed, including fresh food. Not just that, some were even trying to print a 3-D printer in a 3-D printer (heights of LOLness, isn’t it?)Jokes apart, the 3-D printer is certainly changing the world in its very own ways and one good example of it is what you will be reading today – a 3-D printed Cast for fixing broken bones.3049149-poster-p-2-healing-injuries-could-be-better-thanks-to-this-3-d-printed-castI am not sure if you have ever had an experience with broken bones, but I certainly had one and it was not all that pleasant. Excluding those funny ‘get well soon’ messages written by friends on the plaster, nothing else was great about it.

It takes months to recover and you will have a harrowing time going through it.

Fortunately, researchers are constantly working on ways to speed up the healing process and this new 3D-printed cast could one day reduce the recovery time by as much as 40-80%.

3-D Printed Cast for Fixing Broken Bones

Called the Osteoid, this 3-D Cast was designed & created by a Turkish student Deniz Karasahin.

Designed with a lattice pattern, the cast lets in plenty of air, which prevents that stuffy, itchy feeling, unlike the traditional plaster casts.

The Cast incorporates 3D printing along with the ultrasonic technology  to make the healing of bones comparatively faster.

Studies have already proven that the ultrasound technology will speed up the regeneration of damaged bones, but the doctors were not able to use it on the traditional plaster casts.

Take a look at the pic below and you’ll see how the Osteoid’s skeletal design allows ultrasonic drivers to be placed directly on the skin.

These ultrasound technology is provided by a LIPUS (Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound) generator which sends pulsed ultrasound waves into the affected areas.

For single 20 minute session with LIPUS every day, this cast promises to reduce the healing period by up to 40 to 80%.

The system could also increase the healing rate of ‘non-union’ fractures, in which the bones show no improvement for 4 to 6 months.

Since the cast will be custom-made for every patient, it definitely has greater advantage over traditional ones. The material used to make this Cast is environment friendly and also water-resistant.

Last Thoughts

Frankly, I feel that the possibilities with 3-D technology are limitless. We already know that the researchers are working on incorporating this technology in creating skin, ears, noses, eyes, bones, blood vessels and  others.

Due to the very customizable nature of 3-D printing, you will surely see this technology being used in nearly every facet of medicine, in ways that you might not even be able to think of today.

Devices like the Osteoid, are just the beginning and a lot of exciting things are coming your way shortly.

While I’d love to see this 3-D Cast in action, I’ll be keeping my bones unbroken for now!

credits: adesignaward.com

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