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Weird Science: Doctors Implant First 3D Printed Vertebra

It is not a surprise when you hear about 3D printing being used for medical reasons, we have been using 3D printed bones for a short while now. However Beijing Peking University doctors, led by surgeon Liu Zhongjun, have replaced a vertebra in a 12-year-old boy’s damaged spine with a 3D-printed custom implant made from titanium powder.

Custom printing the implant according to a scan of Minghao’s spine allowed the surgical team to do more than just make a new vertebra that fit perfectly in-between the first and third vertebrae. The titanium replacement bone is filled with tiny pores that will allow real bone to naturally grow through it, fusing it even more naturally as part of Minghao’s spine.

 

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