AT A GLANCE

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFEHEALTH -

In 2002 CT and MRI data was used to 3-D print anatom­i­cal mod­els of con­joined twins from Egypt in the United States, to plan for the sep­a­ra­tion surgery. The surgery suc­ceeded in 2003, and the twins lived six years. In 2011, re­searchers in Bel­gium and the Nether­lands cre­ated and im­planted an en­tire 3-D printed lower jaw (pic­tured above) for an 83-yearold woman. It was the world’s first com­plete 3-D printed im­plant. In 2012, spe­cial­ists in the US cre­ated an air­way de­vice with a 3-D laser printer with ap­proval from the US Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion, and saved a baby boy, whose birth de­fect had caused his throat’s air­way to col­lapse fre­quently. In Fe­bru­ary 2013, sci­en­tists at Cor­nell Univer­sity an­nounced it had used 3-D print­ing to cre­ate an ar­ti­fi­cial ear for treat­ing ear de­for­mity. In March, US doc­tors used 3-D printed ar­ti­fi­cial skull bones, and re­placed 75 per­cent of a pa­tients’ skull­cap that had been se­verely dam­aged, with ap­proval from the FDA. In April, sci­en­tists in the US man­aged to cre­ate mini ver­sions of liver us­ing a 3-D printer. They built up lay­ers of liver cells, in­clud­ing cells from the lin­ing of blood ves­sels to nour­ish the liver cells with nu­tri­ents and oxy­gen. In May, sci­en­tists at Prince­ton Univer­sity an­nounced they had printed a work­ing hu­man ear (pic­tured) with elec­tric and or­ganic ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing cow cells. The replica ear can hear be­yond hu­man abil­ity.

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