MIT Produces Synthetic Bone With 3-D Printing

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What if next time you broke a bone, instead of going to the doctor for a cast, you just printed out a new one? It sounds certifiably insane, but it’s actually not.

MIT announced this week that its researchers have found a way to produce synthetic bone using 3-D printers, which work by converting digitized three-dimensional data into physical objects by printing layer after layer of the model. Scientists have long wanted to mimic bone for its strength and durability—made possible by the combination of soft, stretchy collagen and a hard, brittle mineral called hydroxyapatite—but haven’t previously had a way to do it. That all changed when MIT researchers, who published their findings in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, found a way to first create a computerized model that imitates the polymers and makeup of bone, and then use a dual-polymer 3-D printer to print the geometric patterns and bring it to life.

FiveWordsForTheFuture - Feb 16, 2014 | Innovation, Print, Robotics
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