In a surgical procedure earlier this week, a man was fitted with the first ever 3D-printed skull replacement. A whole 75 percent of his skull was replaced with the replica, which is made out of polyetherketoneketone. (Say that ten times fast.)
It is unclear why this particular man had 75% of his skull replaced.
The company behind the implant, Oxford Performance Materials, first scanned the man’s skull to create a digital version. After that, the replacement plate was printed out with specially designed textures and holes to promote cell and bone growth. The technology was approved by the FDA last month, and the company says that they can create similar implants for other patients in 2 weeks — all they need is a 3D scan of the injured area. The company also says that around 500 people in the US can make use of the technology.
It’s pretty crazy how far technology has come. Now parts of the skeleton can be replaced! With a part that was printed out.