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23 Jun
3D Printing Takes an Increasing Role in the Medical Field 3D Printing Takes an Increasing Role in the Medical Field

3D Printing Takes an Increasing Role in the Medical Field

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3D printing has become an important part of medical services, with 24 percent of medical companies surveyed using the technology. Another 12 percent plan to use it in the future, noting the technology’s promise for saving and improving lives.

According to Ernst & Young, almost all hearing aids on the market today are produced through 3D printing, and dental crowns, prosthetic limbs, and disposable surgical instruments are also being regularly printed. But the future of 3D printing in the medical industry is even more promising, starting with pills that epileptics could more easily swallow and someday soon, the technology could be used to produce artificial organs.

Currently, researchers are testing 3D-printed blood vessels, which they’ve successfully implanted in animals. Once those have been perfected, experts will move on to other types of bodily organs. Researchers at Northwestern University have 3D printed an ovary that was successful in producing baby mice. Another team of researchers was successful in printing and implanting cartilage and muscle tissue in rodents. Once implanted, the muscle tissue formed blood vessels and nerve connections, which is a weakness in 3D printing body parts.

The technology is especially of interest to researchers who work with amputees. A team in France recently printed body parts for lower-leg amputees and are working on perfecting the technology.

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Read 1864 times Last modified on Monday, 12 June 2017 03:25
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on NYPost.com, PSMag.com, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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