A man has had the first ever 3D-printed skull-replacement fitted, swapping out a whole 75 per cent of the bone in his head for a man-made replacement.
The unnamed man, from the US, first had his skull scanned to create a digital replica, before the large replacement plate was printed out. It has specially designed textures and holes in the polyetherketoneketone structure to encourage the growth of cells and bone, and the technique could prove invaluable in replacement of other bone-damaged bits.
Oxford Performance Materials, the company behind the implant, thinks that there's no reason these 3D-printed bone replacements couldn't be used to repair other damaged areas, like limbs. Is this the start of the body-part replacement trend? Will we soon be upgrading our skeletons, Wolverine style? Who knows, but at least you know if you break your nut you'll now be able to just print out a replacement. [News]
Image by Oxford Performance Materials