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3D-printed bone replacements coming soon

It would be fantastic to use 3D printers to produce bone replacements:

Now, Washington State University engineers are unveiling a unique implementation of the tech that could aid in the regrowth of damaged or diseased bones. Utilizing a ceramic compound, the group’s optimized ProMetal 3D printer builds dissolvable scaffolds coated with a plastic binding agent that serve as a blueprint for tissue growth. The team’s already logged four long years fine tuning the process, having already achieved positive results testing on rats and rabbits, but it appears there’s still a ways to go — about 10 -12 years, according to the project’s co-author Susmita Bose — before orthopedic and dental surgeons can begin offering “printed” bone replacements.

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