Printing in 3-D for Body Parts


It always makes me feel a little strange when I read or hear about things that will most likely happen after I am deceased. I was reading this article in yesterday’s newspaper which talked about our future. I wanted to know what your thoughts on this topic were. Not that you will or not be living but the technology of it.

It is titled Printing the Future in 3-D

I have seen puzzles made in 3-D. I am sure if I think hard enough I have seen other things also. Now the scientists are figuring out how to use this knowledge and feed it into medicine. Where would we be without the brains in this world? Maybe not living in the cave days, but most likely not where we are today.

3-D printing is being tested in hundreds of ways the article states.They believe it can heal people. The process could duplicate copies of a damaged arm or leg. It could copy cancer tissues so doctors could figure out the best way to kill it.

Scientists are hoping to someday re-create who organs for people needing a new liver or heart. The 3-D process being used by a computer, receives its commands telling it where to place certain links. One by one, these ink drops create letters or pictures. The materials can be almost anything from plastic, to living cells and even metals. As each layer is built one at a time, the object is built.

Objects can be made in almost any shape. Because the layers are added one at a time this process is called additive manufacturing. With this new and fascinating process being made better and better, artificial body parts, known more as prosthetics is much cheaper.

Right now a prosthetic child’s hand may cost $25,000-$50,000 dollars, and of course as the child grows these parts would need to be replaced over and over. How many of us have these kind of dollars or that excellent of insurance?

With the 3-D process a prosthetic hand may only cost around $5.00. Wow, what a difference in price. Scientists hope to  have this easily available within 10 years. The printer will be able to make precise copies for each person. The body part will work better and last much longer. A part could be built in less than two days.

Already people are using 3-D printed hands, arms, hips, teeth, skulls, knees and ears. Printing live limbs is still many years away they state. The good news is that prosthetic 3-D body parts will move well and be available in a few years.

Isn’t it fantastic news for those who walk with difficulty or have one less arm than we do? Wouldn’t their lives change forever from this new strategy? So what do you think? Do you believe this can actually happen in time? I usually say that I am glad I am the age I am and will not have to see the gross things that will happen in our world; but this is one time I would love to be living and see the wide smiles on those that are made whole again or for the first time. The first photo below is;

The second photo is;

A 3D printer at the university has already built a prototype kidney.

These remarkable images show the groundbreaking advances scientists are making in the field of regenerative medicine, paving the way to print new body parts such as ears and noses.

Here is a video to explain more.

ear 2

ear

5 thoughts on “Printing in 3-D for Body Parts

  1. This is really remarkable. So much possiblities with this. Although somewhere within me I feel that man will exploit this for as much evil as good. However, when I concentrate on all the good that can come from this, I get a very happy feeling. Thanks for sharing Terry.

    Like

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