First 3D Printer for artificial bones printing developed in Japan
A group of researchers from the NEXT21 K.K., University of Tokyo and Riken, Japan, has invented the first ever 3D printer for creating custom artificial bones. The pre-clinical studies showing positive results were carried out by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization – NEDO. The group applied to PMDA (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency) for approval to produce and sell artificial bones in the Japanese market. The 3D printer will be able to recreate bone structures and reproduce structures with 0,1mm exactness. This printing technique doesn’t need any thermal processing, so biologically active bones are produced.
A defect bone (left) and a made-to-order artificial bone (right) / Image: NEDO, NEXT21
Printing material consists of calcium phosphate which make up the majority of tooth enamel. In comparison with natural implants, 3D printed ones are far easier to integrate with the natural ones: they mix together with the natural ones and transform into one natural bone through regeneration. It takes about 10 months to examine the method and materials. Scientists expect to start using the 3D printed bones by 2015. The NEXT21 K.K producers say that first of all the printer will be sold on domestic market, then it will be exported to some Asian countries. Some corporations are expressing interests in the technology. The company is now carrying out talks and negotiations with some Canadian and Holland corporations.