3-D Printing’s: Nerve Regeneration

Additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, makes it possible to build more customized biomedical implants, and has become a popular way to make dental implants and even windpipes. A new 3-D printed structure meant to “guide” the regrowth and reconnection of the loose ends of an injured nerve suggests that the technique could appeal to neurosurgeons as well. The new technique should be thought of as a starting point that “opens the door” for the development of new regeneration schemes that take advantage of 3-D printing to make implants with complex shapes, says Xiaofeng Jia, a collaborator on the project and a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Scientists at the University of Sheffield have succeeded in using a 3D printed guide to help nerves damaged in traumatic incidents repair themselves.

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