Futuristic Medicine: 3D Printed Jaw Implant Rescues 83-Year-Old Woman

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Dr. Ivo Lambrichts Displays 3D Printed Jaw

In a groundbreaking first in the medical field, a team from the University of Hasselt has created a method for using 3D printing to fabricate a functioning lower jaw implant that rescued their patient from a massive infection.

“The introduction of printed implants can be compared to man’s first venture on the moon: a cautious, but firm step,” said Professor Jules Poukens of BIOMED.

The patient was an 83-year-old woman who was suffering from a major infection in her mandible. Traditional treatments, such as removing the lower jaw, would result in greatly decreased quality of life. Luckily, this medical team of doctors from the University of Hasselt, Belgium, partnered with engineers from Xios University College, SIRRIS, Xilloc Medical BV in Belgium, and the department of Cranio-, Maxillo-Facial surgery of Orbis Medical Center Sittard-Geleen in The Netherlands to develop an innovative treatment using 3D printing.

“Computer technology will cause a veritable revolution in the medical world. We just need to learn to work with it,” added Professor Jules Poukens. “Doctors and engineers together around the design computer and the operation table: that’s what we call being truly innovative.”

Pictured above and below, Dr. Ivo Lambrichts holds the 3D printed mandible. It was fabricated using a titanium powder in only a few hours. Typical methods to create implants usually take days.

Within 1 day after surgery, the patient had normal functioning speech, swallowing and movement.

Congratulations to this team for their major achievement!

3D Printed Jaw Implant


Via UHasselt.

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7 Responses to Futuristic Medicine: 3D Printed Jaw Implant Rescues 83-Year-Old Woman

  1. Chris Waldo says:

    This is an awesome story, and one of the most popular ones on the web in regards to 3D printing. You guys did a great job on covering the jaw implant. I’m just ready for the next big story! I wonder if 3D printing will be used to print off entire bones or larger implants! Regardless, good post!

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  3. [...] called digital manufacturing, 3D printers enable the production of physical mechanical devices, medical implants, jewelry, and even clothing. These printers use something like a toothpaste tube of plastic or [...]

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  5. [...] real productivity gains. In industry, additive manufacturing could revolutionise the making of medical implants. Last, new mechanisms for funding innovation, such as Kickstarter, have helped fantastic projects [...]

  6. [...] seems like today you can print anything you want from chocolate pieces to new noses, surgical jigs, jaws, even new transparent teeth straightening devices.  Bones can be printed straight from MRIs and [...]

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