A national team of researchers has developed a first-of-its-kind, 3D-printed guide that helps regrow both the sensory and motor functions of complex nerves after injury. The groundbreaking research has the potential to help more than 200,000 people annually who experience nerve injuries or disease.
“So far, the medical implant has been tested in three children between the ages of 3 months and 16 months. Before getting the implant, the young patients had spent much of their lives in intensive care, where they needed to be on ventilators full-time to help them breathe. But after surgeons inserted the small white device around their narrow airways, all three recovered rapidly, according to a study published this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine.”
Super-interesting use of 3D printing. Self-healing plastic modeled on the human body. The next remake of Robocop should definitely include this tech. From the WSJ:
“In their demonstration, the scientists managed to close the equivalent of a bullet hole more than 35 millimeters in diameter punched through a 3-millimeter piece of plastic parallel to the floor. They did this by using a pair of chemical compounds delivered through microchannels embedded in the plastic, much like human blood vessels.”
“Such networks can be produced using 3-D printing, said Nancy Sottos, one of the scientists. The group also showed that it could speed up or slow down the chemical reactions depending on the kind of damage to be repaired—a bullet hole, for example, might have cracks radiating out from it.”
3D printing is creating all sorts of options for patients these days, including getting a customized replacement for skull bone. That was important for a 22-year-old woman who was facing certain death if she didn’t have the intervention because her scull kept getting thicker and needed to be switched out. Get the full story at Wired UK.