Sunday, March 30, 2014

Doctors Produce 3-D Skull, Save Patient

My opinion:  I know there are medical miracles, but then there are medical miracles!  This really is quite the invention, and it all happened because of 3-D printing.  Still, I have some concerns for the new skull.  If part of it breaks, is it possible to replace that part with another 3-D reproduction?  Also, the skull is clear.  Can hair grow out of it, or can it at least be made to look like a real skull?  I'm very glad that the patient has healed, but what would people think of you if they saw that you had a plastic skull?  Nonetheless, a very fine and amazing idea!  It's just important, however, to try and fix the smaller problems as well, at least at some point.  Any thoughts?  Feel free to comment.

Medical First: 3-D Printed Skull Successfully Implanted in Woman

Another day, another advance in 3-D printing technology.
Doctors in the Netherlands report that they have for the first time successfully replaced most of a human’s skull with a 3-D printed plastic one — and likely saved a woman's life in the process.
The 23-hour surgery took place three months ago at University Medical Center Utrecht. The hospital announced details of the groundbreaking operation this week and said the patient, a 22-year-old woman, is doing just fine.

Image: 3-D printed skull UMC Utrecht
Doctors at UMC Utrecht in the Netherlands replaced the top part of a woman's skull with a 3-D printed plastic one.

The woman, whose name wasn’t released, suffered from severe headaches due to a thickening of her skull. She slowly lost her vision, her motor coordination was suffering and it was only a matter of time before other essential brain functions would have atrophied, Verweij said in a press release issued by UMC Utrecht.
Verweij noted that in some brain operations it’s common for part of the skull to be temporarily removed to reduce pressure on the brain, then put back later or replaced by an artificial implant. In this case, doctors inserted nearly an entire plastic skull that was manufactured with the help of Anatomics, an Australian medical device company that specializes in 3-D printing,


1 comment:

  1. I am curious as to the the effects of shear on the skull. Typically, 3D printed objects have greater reactions to lateral shear forces due to being constructed by layering materials atop one another. It would be interesting to know the blunt trauma this plastic skull can withsand