Big Picture - May 2015 - (Page 20)

it's Alive BIG PICTURE May 2015 By RoBin Donovan 20 N 3D Universe offers kits to create prosthetic hands, like the one shown above, with gel fingertip grips to improve function. Kits can be assembled for personal use or donated to patients through the e-Nable volunteer organization. 3D printing advances modern medicine with bioprinted tissue, personalized surgeries, and more. Just don't look for a heart replacement tomorrow. eed a jaw replacement in 2015? You're in trouble. Today's replacements are designed only to restore mobility, not to alleviate pain. Unlike a knee replacement, a new jaw may or may not actually feel better. And it certainly won't have a normal range of motion. So far, the complex, two-part movement of the jaw has proven difficult to replicate. For some patients with jaws that have become fused shut or immobile, the replacement surgery is an unfortunate, even shudder-worthy necessity. As happy athletes with metal alloy, ceramic, or plastic knees skate down the slopes and grandparents with titanium hips take up ballroom dancing, people with jaw pain wonder if surgery might actually make pain worse. There are a lot of questions about unhappy jaws and what it might take to curb pain in this small, but active joint. One tiny opening amidst a sea of gloomy information is the possibility of a new type of jaw implant - a jaw 3D printed to fit the patient's face and "seeded" with living cartilage cells to recreate the joint's function. Sound futuristic? Not according to TeVido BioDevice's Scott Collins, who says that although seeded implants are a step forward, they're not the future. In fact, he believes that bioprinting technology - using live cells as ink to print living tissue structures - will surpass the idea of placing living cells on an inorganic structure. But let's back up. We've been watching 3D printing slowly transform from a patented technology to a more accessible novelty and, now, a high-tech tool. 3D printers are hardly plug-and-play. Yet many users are lay people - including kids at schools and libraries - but who have the interest and patience to play with smaller models.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - May 2015

Big Picture - May 2015
Wide Angle
Graphics on the Go
Business + Management
It's Alive
Expert's Guide to FESPA 2015
R + D

Big Picture - May 2015