Sydney University researchers make bone cement 3D printing breakthrough

Researchers at University
of Sydney have developed a technique for bone replacements using 3D printing
that could revolutionise surgery for head trauma victims.

The ABC’s AM program
reports that cranioplasty implants can take weeks to make, and can cost thousands
due to the materials used (such as titanium).

The university’s Dr Philip
Boughton, a biomedical engineer, has developed a 3D printing technique using “bone
cement” and modelling using a patient’s CT scans. This takes only days and about $300.

“We’re helping to address
what can often be an emergency situation as close to the day when the patient
comes in as possible. Implants are going to be, starting to be patient
specific,” Boughton told the ABC.

“Rather than fitting the
patients to the implant, we’re basically taking the patient’s scans and
customising the implant able to the patient.”

The replacement portions of
skull have been used to treat injuries ranging in size from a “twenty cent
piece to missing about 40 per cent of the skull,” said Jeremy Kwarcinski, a PhD
student at the university.

Image: University of Sydney