3D Printer Produces Functioning Ovaries

Family awaiting a baby

The intricate potential that 3D printing has on their field of medicine continues to evolve and many scientists believe that the possibilities are endless. A recent landmark study has taken 3D printing to a whole new level.

The study was conducted by a team of scientists at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering. Their intention was to begin exploring possible fertility solutions that could ultimately be used to restore female cancer victims’ ability to conceive if they become sterile as a result of chemotherapy or radiation. The experiment was conducted on female mice and began by removing an ovary from each of them. The scientists used a 3D printer to create bioprosthetic ovaries to replace those who had been previously removed. The man-made ovaries are printed scaffolds that house immature eggs[1] and the Read more

A printer that can save lives

First used in the 1980s for car manufacturing prototypes, 3D printing has grown to have a significant impact on medicine today, where it can provide solutions for complex or high-risk situations.

How do doctors use 3D printers? After taking a scan, such as a CT or an MRI, of a particular area, a specialised computer graphics programme uses these results to create the exact dimensions for of the same area. These are sent to a 3D printer, which outputs the replica, in a variety of biocompatible materials. When a delicate touch is needed From Michigan, USA, where researchers printed a splint to hold open a section of a baby’s airway[i], to Hangzhou, China, where a 21 year old man with a rare spinal tumour was fitted with a custom-designed prosthesis to reinforce damaged vertebrae[ii], Read more