Feeds

Printed jaw lets woman swallow again

Let's eat, Grandma

Build a business case: developing custom apps

3D printing techniques have been taken to jaw-dropping heights after an 83-year-old woman was given a replacement mandible. She becomes the first patient ever to be fitted with a printed lower jaw.

Given the old dear's age, and the fact that her lower jaw was so badly infected, traditional surgery was deemed too much of a risk, prompting doctors to turn to a 3D printer for assistance.

The printer that carried out the task uses laser sintering. The object is built up out of layers of titanium, introduced as particles which are fused together with a laser. The final build was then coated with bio-ceramics, making the bone-substitute compatible with body tissue.

The new jaw allowed the lady to start chatting and swallowing food within a day of being put in place. The procedure also took less time than usual, completed in a few hours rather than the 20 or so it can take for microsurgical reconstruction work.

The operation took place last year, developed by the Biomed Research Institute at Hasselt University, Belgium in co-operation with surgeons of the Orbis Medical Center Sittard-Geleen and Xilloc Medical, Maastricht, and Cam Bioceramics of Leiden.

Perhaps in the future, the fact teenagers have ruined their teeth on Haribo binges will cease to matter. They'll simply run upstairs, download the 3D blueprints from The Pirate Bay and print a new set off, provided daddy can afford the titanium cartridges. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.