3D-printed implants help regenerate bones

2016-01-16 10:04 update: 2018-09-30, 15:12
 PAP © 2016
PAP © 2016
Warsaw researchers have developed a novel 3D-printed implant that helps bones to regenerate and then gradually dissolves in the body. The solution, which one day could help humans, has already been used in treating dogs.

Today doctors use metal implants to treat human bone damage, but after treatment the objects have to stay in the body for life. In the case of animals, more serious bone damage often ended in amputation.

Researchers from the Warsaw University of Technology's Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a bio-implant, or a solution that helps bone tissue to regenerate. It is a 3D-printed porous polymer scaffolding on which the patient's bone tissue can grow, thus gradually regenerating the bone.

"The scaffolding is made of biodegradable materials. (...) After some time, ranging from 6 to 24 months, depending on the materials used, the implant will dissolve," says Dr Engineer Barbara Ostrowska, a researcher at the faculty.

The 3D-printed implants are custom-made from CT scans.

So far the implants have been used in four operations on dogs which suffered from bone tissue cancer, Barbara Ostrowska told PAP. The faculty is now trying to collect funds required to run clinical tests. (PAP)