Feeds

Printed jaw lets woman swallow again

Let's eat, Grandma

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.