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Bone replacements and heart monitors spur health revolution in open source 3D printing

Mar 01, 2014, 15:00 (0 Talkback[s])

The evolution of 3D printing has moved quickly and it is now poised to alter every aspect of our lives and health. Thousands of Europeans are enjoying 3D-printed metal orthopaedic implants to support or replace missing bones and, in the US, thousands more have benefited from 3D printing used by dentists. Most people that need hearing aids have custom 3D-printed devices comfortably resting in their ears now.

It is hard not to get excited about the latest 3D-printed marvels in the world’s labs such as the 3D-printed "heart jacket", which was successfully used to monitor a heart of a rabbit. Scientists used a sensor-studded silicone sheath to gauge things like contractions, temperatures and acid levels across the surface of the rabbit’s heart. With a little more time and effort, there is potential for a human implant.

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