With a handheld scanning device, the team takes pictures of his ruined tibia and transmits them into the ground.
Orthopedic surgeons then utilize a 3D printer to make a specific replica of their astronaut’s leg out of medical imaging documents obtained prior to the voyage. Surgeons in the world utilize a robot to stabilize the bone using a metal plate onto the 3D replica. The information is sent back to Mars, in which surgical tools, a customized plate, and attachments will be 3D printed. At length, a surgical robot works on the wounded astronaut.
As a neurosurgeon and also a researcher in distant presence robotics, I provide you with this vision of their near future. Although 3D printing in distance remains in early growth, a revolution in 3D printing is currently happening closer to home. Plus its transformative consequences for the future of medical care.
What’s 3D printing?
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, utilizes an electronic version to construct an object of almost any size or form — by adding successive layers of material at one continuous run. This layering capability makes it possible for the production of complicated shapes, like the complicated structure of bones or vascular channels, so which would not be possible to make by other procedures.
Advances in computer layout and the capacity to interpret medical imaging — like X-rays, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound — into electronic versions which may be read by 3D printers are enlarging its applications in healthcare. 3D printing is opening a horizon of possibilities that are amazing, for example, bioprinting living cells with “biological ink”.
An edge of 3D printing technologies is that it allows for lots of healthcare — personalized prostheses and tailor-made medications and organs, for instance. This technology can also reduce costs by interrupting supply chains and decreasing the manufacturing costs of healthcare devices, surgical tools, and other health-care solutions.
At the moment, 3D printing has been widely utilized in the production of hearing aids and in dentistry.
This massive effects in the hearing aid business were known as the “silent revolution” as it’s gone nearly unnoticed. Before 3D printing, it took a week to produce a hearing aid; today it takes just a couple of hours.
The growth of complex and precise 3D oral scanners and brand new 3D printing dental substances has also catapulted 3D printing as a disruptive technology in dentistry.
In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration Agency (FDA) accepted 3D printing denture substance and this set the stage for dental practitioners to present 3D-printing manufacturing labs in their offices. The thought of creating crowns, orthodontic appliances or removable dentures using a push of a button on your dentist’s office isn’t far from fact.
Prostheses for land-mine sufferers
Perhaps the biggest effect of 3D printing internationally may be in helping to narrow inequality in health-care delivery by generating inexpensive health-care goods for low-income areas.
Landmines in conflict zones in Africa and Asia have devastating effects for those inhabitants living in these regions. Inexpensive 3D-printed prostheses, customized to this individual and published in 1 day, have benefited landmine amputees. Networks of volunteers like e-NABLE and NotImpossible working together with open source collaborations have had a beneficial effect on the plan and supply of cheap 3D-printed prostheses.
In 2017 alone, these jobs have generated 300 prosthetic hands which have gained war victims and the disabled poor.
In the University of Saskatchewan, we’ve 3D-printed that a human mind copy of MRI data. The operation involves implanting electrodes that aim pea-sized constructions at the depths of their mind. Learn more about 3d printing and it’s history.
Doctors have utilized similar 3D printed versions to plan complicated surgeries which range from a full-face transplant to spine operation. Implantable surgical devices like the recently FDA-approved and 3D-printed titanium bone augmentation coated with anti-inflammatory agents that encourage bone development are also beginning to get to the clinic.
Printing living organs
An intriguing area with enormous potential for the near future is that the production of 3D-printed drugs. The 3D printing process enables the introduction of an extremely porous structure that may load a huge dose of this active compound into a fast dissolvable pill.
This chance of exceptionally personalized medications, which Boost beneficial effects while decreasing unwanted effects, made in real time using digital recipes can radically alter the pharmaceutical sector.
Among the very promising 3D printing technological improvements are that the bioprinting of tissue. Fantastic strides are made in fabricating tissue constructs which may eventually be used for organ transplants.
The clinical production of biologically active complicated structures like functional skeletal muscle or liver tissue is promising. The current commercialization of practical human kidney or liver constructs — the so-called “laboratory on a chip penis” — may have a massive influence on clinical research, drug discovery, and toxicology. It might potentially lower the requirement to use experimental animal models.
Though we could be far apart from surgery on Mars with 3D printing technologies, the improvements on the planet are already changing healthcare.