So yeah, 3D printers — maybe this will shatter my science-nerd cred, but I didn’t even know these things existed until fairly recently. What can I say? Printers are a weird mental blind spot for me — I can still barely figure out how to get my inkjet to work.
Anyways, we reported a couple months back that scientists at Washington State University were looking into the possibility of creating replacement bones using 3D printers. Well, turns out some guys in the Netherlands beat them to the punch. The news has only become public recently, but back in June 2011, Dutch doctors performed the first transplant using a bone created with a 3D printer.
The Dutch doctors created a new jawbone for a lady who had to have hers removed due to a bone infection. The operation was a rousing success, with the patient being able to talk only hours after the operation, and swallow and eat by the next day.
Apparently bones are just the beginning too. The next big step will be finding a way to 3D print our organs and other squishier parts, so start designing your custom printed dream wiener now guys.
via BBC News