A new type of artificial bone shaped with a 3-D printer can repair deformed bones and help heal some spine, skull and jaw injuries, researchers say in a new report printed in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
When the bone material was tested in a monkey, the bone fused to the animal’s skull and new blood vessels grew into it, NBC News reports.
“Within four weeks, the implant had fully integrated, fully vascularized with the monkey’s own skull,” researcher Adam Jakus said. “And there is actually evidence of new bone formation.”
The hyper-elastic bone can be shaped with a 3-D printer to customize individual implants. Scientists hope to be able to test the implants in humans within the next five years.