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3D-Printed Implants Fuse with Broken Bones

Researchers at University of Sydney are mending broken bones with 3D-printed implants that could replace metal plates and screws.

Traditional method of healing bones. / Image: 3ders
Traditional method of healing bones. / Image: 3ders

A recent 3ders article reported on a new development that could transform the way broken bones are treated. A team of researchers at University of Sydney’s biomedical engineering department created 3D-printed ceramic implants that not only mend broken bones, but actually fuse with natural bone to replace the broken parts over time.

The concept has been successfully tested on sheep with large leg fractures. The team found that after three months 25% of the fractures were completely healed, and after a year, the healing rate was up to 88%. The sheep were able to walk immediately after the procedure with the aid of a cast, which provides stability for up to a month. In addition to reduced pain and faster healing time, this development could eventually be used to treat osteoporosis.

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