The human body is a beautiful thing, but sometimes things can go wrong. Bones break, and muscles tear. Doctors use various tools to fix the damage after an injury occurs, from casts and braces to screws and plates. If the bone breaks where it shouldn’t be moving much anyway, those may be enough to get the patient back on their feet. For more complicated breaks, however, there’s a new technique that can help. The healing power of stem cells combined with the versatility of engineering is used to create new bones for patients who need them.
Regenerative orthopedics is an emerging technology that uses 3D printing for the regenerative repair of human bones. Dr. Kristopher L. Downing indicates that it gives new hope to paralyzed people because it can grow new spinal cord cells that can help them become functional again.
What Conditions Does it Help With?
You can treat many conditions with regenerative orthopedics, some severe and some which are just nuisances. Paralyzed people who have lost the ability to walk may benefit from regrowing damaged spinal cord cells. Hip injuries are common in athletes of all kinds, making them ideal for stem cell regeneration. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause significant damage to bones and joints. By using regenerative orthopedics, the severity of this condition might be reduced so that people who have it can live everyday lives again.
How it Works
Regenerative orthopedics techniques use a patient’s stem cells to regenerate bone tissue. The cells are harvested from the bloodstream or fat and build new bones in the damaged area. You may take these cells from other regions if enough healthy marrow can’t be harvested, which will delay recovery and cause other problems. Once harvested, they combine with a substance that encourages cell growth and then print onto the damaged bone with an additive manufacturing
3D printing process called BioLP.
A surgeon can use this equipment to create a scaffold-like structure that will fit precisely into the patient’s body. Stem cells are applied to this scaffold and begin growing into the bone that the patient needs. The scaffold will eventually dissolve or become absorbed by the body, leaving behind new bone that fits perfectly into place.
Why is it Useful
The potential benefits of regenerative orthopedics are numerous for both patients and doctors. For one thing, it can be used instead of invasive surgery to fix breaks and injuries with less risk of infection. Rather than being cut open by a doctor, the patient’s cells form new bone that is just as healthy as the original. Patients can also begin therapy immediately after this technique has been used, which cuts down significantly on recovery time.
3D printing dramatically increases the precision achieved when fixing broken bones, reducing the likelihood of future problems.
In summary, regenerative orthopedics is an emerging technology that uses 3D printing for the regenerative repair of human bones. It can help treat conditions such as hip injuries and rheumatoid arthritis. It uses your stem cells to regenerate bone tissue. Some benefits include reduced recovery time, fewer chances of future complications, and avoidance of invasive procedures.