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Implantable Cartilage Created With Hybrid 3D Printer
1/21/2013

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Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine used a hybrid 3D printer to fabricate implantable cartilage on the heels of printing a working kidney.   (Source: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine)
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine used a hybrid 3D printer to fabricate implantable cartilage on the heels of printing a working kidney.
(Source: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

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Elizabeth M
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Sci fi meets reality
Elizabeth M   1/21/2013 4:08:13 PM
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Wow, all of this seems really futuristic and sci-fi, but it makes sense--if you can create other synthetic materials with 3D printers, why not use them to replicate synthetic human tissue or body parts? It still conjures slightly gruesome images of body parts being made via an assembly line or something like that! But if it represents a breakthrough for the medical industry and a better quality of life for patients, then it's a welcome innovation.

Gorski
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Implantable cartilage created with hybrid 3D printer
Gorski   1/21/2013 9:49:12 PM
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This procedure could lead to some outstanding future medical aadvances. The kidney reproduction should be pursued as there is a vast market for kidney replacements. I have a son who has waited 4 years for a donor with no results. He is on two donor lists. Reproducing a kidney from a patient should lessen teh problem of rejection and not limit donated kidneys to younger patients.

Gorski, PE

Gorski
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Implantable cartilage created with hybrid 3D printer
Gorski   1/21/2013 9:49:12 PM
NO RATINGS
This procedure could lead to some outstanding future medical aadvances. The kidney reproduction should be pursued as there is a vast market for kidney replacements. I have a son who has waited 4 years for a donor with no results. He is on two donor lists. Reproducing a kidney from a patient should lessen teh problem of rejection and not limit donated kidneys to younger patients.

Gorski, PE

Gorski
User Rank
Platinum
Implantable cartilage created with hybrid 3D printer
Gorski   1/21/2013 9:49:12 PM
NO RATINGS
This procedure could lead to some outstanding future medical aadvances. The kidney reproduction should be pursued as there is a vast market for kidney replacements. I have a son who has waited 4 years for a donor with no results. He is on two donor lists. Reproducing a kidney from a patient should lessen teh problem of rejection and not limit donated kidneys to younger patients.

Gorski, PE

jlinstrom
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Re: Sci fi meets reality
jlinstrom   1/22/2013 11:35:21 AM
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Elizabeth - the science is there or will be shortly. As far as the 'gruesome' that's on us, the humans, to keep in hand. "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should." - but you probably know this already.

notarboca
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Re: Sci fi meets reality
notarboca   1/22/2013 12:06:12 PM
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I am personally interested in the organic cartilage--had an ACL replacement done on my right knee in '88, after 2 previous arthroscopes to trim damaged cartilage.  It is getting to the point of having bone on bone contact, so when this procedure is FDA certified, I'll most assuredly look into having it done.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Sci fi meets reality
Ann R. Thryft   1/22/2013 12:09:46 PM
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Yet another medical implant made with a 3D printer, following the titanium jaw, as well as lots of dental implants, DN has covered previously. Looks like Wake Forest U is at the leading edge of some of this R&D.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Sci fi meets reality
Elizabeth M   1/22/2013 1:24:27 PM
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Agree in terms of the "just because we can doesn't mean we should." Remember when cloning was all the rage and there was much controversy over cloning sheep and the possibility of cloning humans? Though I'm sure cloning is still being researched widely, the furor seems to have died down and humans seem to have fallen on the side of ethics rather than science...or have they??

Elizabeth M
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Re: Sci fi meets reality
Elizabeth M   1/22/2013 2:54:49 PM
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Hi, just out of curiosity, notarboca, do you know what material was used in your original replacement? Is that, too, wearing thin now?

Dave Palmer
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Re: Sci fi meets reality
Dave Palmer   1/22/2013 7:18:50 PM
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This is very impressive, and a good example of why engineers should study biology.  The last time I took a biology class was in 9th grade -- I managed to make it all the way through college and graduate school in engineering without learning much of anything about living things.  This is a real problem, since so many of today's engineering innovations are either biomedical in nature or biologically-inspired.

I think the "gross" factor comes with the territory, to a certain extent; it's something that medical students have to learn to get over.  Intellectually, I don't think there is anything "gruesome" about body parts being made on an assembly line, especially if they will help people to have a better life.  But on an emotional/gut level, it does seem kind of creepy.

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