3D printing of bone structures

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3D printing of bone structures

The technology behind bone replacement has been of importance to most health cares that perform such surgery. The three-dimensional printing is a new method that has been applied to make such substitute of the bone with the exact shape and structure, based on the individual bone medical measurement provided.  The paper will discuss the process that takes place in the preparation of the artificial bone, the experiments that are carried out and perhaps the cost of the entire process. The millions of skeleton around the world have been fixed using the bone grafting. In the 3 D printing, the hospital will only be required to have a printer that has autoclavable parts that will make sure that after putting the sterile parts and inserting cartilage with the polymer and the surgeon will come up with a print up of exactly of the same fragment on the spot. Therefore, the printer would take less time in preparing for the replacement of the bone such as the patient with the limb structure. In some cases, the patient has the issue of the skull replacement, and the issue of compatibility has been of concern to the outgrowing fame of the new modern technology (Butscher).

The process

The 3D printing of bone structures takes place through various steps to make sure that a competent replacement is done. The stereolithography is one of the first steps that is commonly recognized in the three-dimensional work and perhaps the first to be commercialized. It is a laser-based process that operates in the combination of the photopolymer resins that reacts with the laser in the formation of a solid with very distinctive parts. The photopolymer is held with the platform that is movable inside the vat. A laser beam is then directed along the X-Y axis on the surface of the resin based on the 3D data supplied to the machine, whereby as the laser hits the surface the resin hardens. Therefore, when the layer is done with, the platform that is within the Vat then drops through a fraction via the Z axis and the consequent layer is checked in by the laser that moves around. The process continues throughout until the entire object to be implanted is completed based on the required shape of the gap to be filled. Due to the nature of the process, it needs the support structures for some parts of the process, for example, the ones with undercuts and overhangs. The process above is perceived to be one of the most accurate 3D printing with an excellent surface finish. On the other hand, after the entire process, the 3D printer needs to be cleaned and cured (Bergmann & Christian).

The experiments

Various experiments were carried out in the development of 3D printing system. The mechanical properties of the structured trabecular bone and the honeycomb structures are studied by the combined use of the 3D printing technology and the combined compression test. The engineered trabecular bone physique is made up randomly to imitate the changing growth of the bone structures to withstand the various types of different loading. The structured are fabricated based on the fused deposition modeling. A show of the bone marrow, the milk containing 0.5% fat which has a density that is the same to the one that is the  long bone that is then added to the one that is trabecular to fill the porous spaces in the two cases.  The results show that the trabecular bone structure is capable of serving as an ideal structure where it is intended to in the high elasticity situations (Cox &Sophie). On the other hand, the honeycomb is very much ideal for the application that needs a high strength and toughness in the replacement area, for example, the skull or the hand that will automatically be used to perform some work. Moreover, the experiment also indicates that bone marrow contributes positively to the transfer of the loading of trabecular bone to the other parts of the body. Therefore, based on the result and the comparison we realize that the 3D printing technology can be used efficiently for the distinctive study of the biometric structures that are utilized in the printing for replacement of the fractured bones.

The cost

The cost of performing a 3D printing of the bone structure varies from one health care to the other depending on the quality. However, the entire process from the beginning the end is very much expensive and n most of the cases very few individuals could afford. In most cases, the cost ranges from $80,000 to $ 120,000, according to the statistic that was given by the medical solution limited. These are due to the risk that arises from the length of the entire process that may be as a result of the damage to the blood vessel of the owner. The other healthcare according to Gaisford charges $100 per minute of the entire duration. There most of the individual uses the treatment on the umbrella of insurance (Bose, Susmita, Sahar & Amit).

The future developments

The 3D printing of the bone structure is perhaps moving in various structures on the use for the sake of the future of the technology. Most of the major areas to show the indication of much development is medical fields with various improvements on the structures of the bone that is being made. In the recent situation, the technology doesn’t make an active and useful material that can withstand the pressure as the natural ones and perform the task (Bose, Susmita, Mangal, and Amit). There has been much limitation that is applied to the structure that has been implanted to perform various tasks with the caution that is varied in strength. Therefore, the future development should be by making the structure stable that can be compatible with the original natural one. Moreover, the process should be simplified to make it less expensive.


 The technology has influenced the life of the people in the society as most of the people would think that it is just as any printing. The differential factors of the 3D are the differential state of manufacturing bit that happens through the entire printing process to come up with a structure that can be used to a transplant. The technology has aid the medical paternity to come up with a replacement of a particular part of the body that cannot be repaired with any medication. This medium has brought growth in the healthcare providers based on technology. The situation has brought more of the research that is carried out with the aim of improving the state.

Work cited

Bergmann, Christian, et al. “3D printing of bone substitute implants using calcium phosphate and bioactive glasses.” Journal of the European Ceramic Society 30.12 (2010): 2563-2567.

Bose, Susmita, Sahar Vahabzadeh, and Amit Bandyopadhyay. “Bone tissue engineering using 3D printing.” Materials Today 16.12 (2013): 496-504.

Bose, Susmita, Mangal Roy, and Amit Bandyopadhyay. “Recent advances in bone tissue engineering scaffolds.” Trends in biotechnology 30.10 (2012): 546-554.

Butscher, A., et al. “Structural and material approaches to bone tissue engineering in powder-based three-dimensional printing.” Acta biomaterialia 7.3 (2011): 907-920.

Cox, Sophie C., et al. “3D printing of porous hydroxyapatite scaffolds intended for use in bone tissue engineering applications.” Materials Science and Engineering: C 47 (2015): 237-247.