Can We Now Produce 3D Printed Bones?

What seems like a concept straight out of science fiction may become reality soon — bones could possibly be 3D printed. Chinese company called Xi’an Particle Cloud Advanced Materials Technology Co. announced it had successfully transplanted artificial biodegradable 3D-printed bones into a rabbit.

  • Used a unique 3D printing process called Filament Free Printing
  • Technique that improved upon current FDM 3D printing technology which is difficult to correct mixtures of chemicals
  • Also is expensive
  • Uses filament plastics as the printer’s ink (which can be wasteful)
  • FFP style of 3D printing reportedly spits out polymers and ceramics in a highly precise way using UV light and heat without having to melt the ink into a printable paste first
  • Allows for a broader range of printing materials

Company printed artificial bone with same complexity, strength, and pore structures that you’d find on a real bone

Rabbit got the 3D printed femoral condyle bone implant, it quickly grew new bone cells on the structure

Success prompted them to plan human clinical trials with their new PCPrinter BCTM 3D printer which was reportedly scheduled to begin in June

If successful, artificial bones could help replenish bone loss due to invasive forms of cancer and degenerative disease and also eliminate the need for costly bone grafts that we currently take from a patient’s own body or from cadavers