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83-Year-Old Woman Gets the World’s First 3D Printed Jaw Transplant

by Shane McGlaun
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At some point in the future, if we needed a new body part, I always figured science would be able to grow one. If you need any new kidney just sprinkle a few cells, top with miracle grow, and wait until you new kidney is ready. I never really thought about what we to do if we needed a new bone of some sort other than using stainless steel.

3d_printed_jaw

An 83-year-old woman needed a new lower jawbone last year for transplant and instead of a traditional implant, the medical team used a 3D printed jawbone manufactured by LayerWise. The transplant was carried out in the Netherlands last June and it has just now been announced. The implant was printed out of a titanium powder using a laser, layer-by-layer until the finished product was completed. The implant is a complicated part with articulated joints and cavities to provoke muscle attachment along with grooves to direct the regrowth of nerves and veins.

3d_printed_jaw_2

According to the team, it took 33 layers of titanium melted using the laser for 1 mm of height. That means that the finished jawbone had many thousands of laser passes. One of the interesting parts of the 3D printed jawbone is that it has a special double bridge that was attached and false teeth screwed in the that dental bridge. Also interesting is that the finished titanium jawbone weighs 107g, which is about one-third heavier than the replaced bone.

[via BBC]

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