3D PRINTING APPLICATIONS IN MEDICINE
Written by Willene Fouche
Innovations like 3D printing are putting consumers in the driver’s seat. Teachers are now printing science experiments for learners, and doctors are printing prosthetic parts that fit their patients. 3D printing company Arcam estimates that more than 100 000 patients have been the recipients of their replacement hips in the last decade. Traditional hip implants might get replaced every 10 to 15 years, while the 3D implants are expected to last well over 20 years. And Haaretz media reports a worldfirst: scientists at Tel Aviv University have used the technology to print a small heart using human tissue that includes vessels, collagen and biological molecules.They hope this could one day render organ donation obsolete.