3D Printing Bone Directly Into the Body

Post Syndicated from Megan Scudellari original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/devices/3d-printing-bone-directly-into-the-body

3D printing living tissueincluding corneasblood vessels and skinis no easy task. But at least it’s all living tissue. Bone, by contrast, is a mixture of living and inorganic compounds in a highly structured mineral matrix. 

3D printing bone, in other words, is a challenge within a challenge.  

Which is why bioengineers have tried so many different materials for their synthetic bones—including hydrogels, thermoplastics, and bioceramics. Now, a team at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, has developed a ceramic ink that can be 3D-printed at room temperature with live cells and without harsh chemicals—a notable improvement over earlier technologies. The new technique could eventually be used to print bone directly into a patient’s body, the researchers say.