3D printed skull implants provide potential for other body replacements say Sydney researchers

Researchers at the University of Sydney have begun printing templates of missing skull pieces and successfully trialling them on patients with injuries from the size of a 20 cent piece up to 40 per cent of a patient’s skull missing.

The bone segment is finished in a few days and costs only $300, compared to current cranioplasty implants which take weeks to manufacture and cost thousands of dollars. Biomedical engineer Dr Phillip Boughton pioneered the invention to improve methods of skull repair.

“It can be anything from motor bike accidents through to … one of our first patients was someone who unfortunately walked into a propeller,” he said.¬†“So it’s very difficult to salvage skull bone, particularly when the trauma injury is so severe.” The new process provides cranioplasty implants that are much more precise, he says.

“We’re helping to address what can often be an emergency situation as close to the day when the patient comes in as possible,” he said. … (read more)

Source: ABC.net.au