Rethinking Healthcare

Printing new skeletons

Posting in Healthcare

Video shows how scientists can "print" replacement bones to perfectly fit a patient's body.

I'm not sure how we missed this brilliant video from January, but it was compelling enough to post. Researchers at Bournemouth University in England show how they can "print" replacement bones.

CT scanners build images of your body parts one thin layer at a time. 3D printers build plastic parts one layer at a time.  Bournemouth University scientists have combined the two technologies by programming 3D printers with images from CT scanners to build human body parts.

The video shows a replacement knee cap, printed to perfectly match a patient's body. SmartPlanet has previously reported on how 3D printers can be used to print jaw bones.

Dr. Richard Wellings predicts that within 10 to 30 years we'll be able to also print human organs, a promising alternative to having to rely on organ donation.

[via Printing Bodies from Owen Griffiths on Vimeo]

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Audrey Quinn

Contributing Writer

Audrey Quinn is a Brooklyn-based multimedia journalist focused on health, tech and the economy. Her radio stories can be heard on Marketplace, Studio 360, PRI's The World, NPR's Latino USA, Deutsche Welle Radio and The Believer Magazine podcast. In addition to her work with CBS Interactive she produces multimedia science stories for online publications and is a teaching assistant at the Transom Story Workshop. Her investigative work has been awarded by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure