12-Year-Old Cancer Patient Gets First-Ever Vertebra Made On A 3-D Printer

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12-Year-Old Cancer Patient Gets First-Ever Vertebra Made On A 3-D Printer

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:49 am

As it turns out, you can make just about anything with a 3-D printer and make it work.

When 12-year-old Minghao of China was diagnosed a couple of months ago with Ewing's sarcoma, a bone cancer typically found in children, his doctors opted for an alternative to the standard treatment. They discovered a tumor on the second vertebra of his spine, and, in lieu of the common titanium tube bone replacement, they decided to put their 3-D printing research and technology to work, reported Reuters.

The team at Peking University Third Hospital in Beijing created a perfect replica of the piece of the boy's spine, which did not require surgical cement or screws upon implantation. Simplifying the procedure in this way means Minghao, whom Reuters refers to as "Qin" in the video above, will not only be able to recover more quickly from the procedure, but also maintain a greater range of motion in his neck. The vertebra was printed out of titanium powder and with small pores throughout so that his future bone growth will bond with the device.


What will they think of next?


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