Deniz Karasahin, a Turkish student, has developed a new type of cast, dubbed the Osteoid, with 3D printing and ultrasonic technologies that can actually heal bones over 40 percent fast than traditional casts. To decrease healing time, casts are designed to emit small ultrasonic vibrations. With Karasahin’s 3D printed cast, small ultrasound leads are placed on the skin. The casts contain numerous holes that leave portions the skin exposed which allow for these ultrasound leads to be readjusted when necessary while also increasing breathability. The holes also allow for the ultrasonic drivers to be applied directly to the skin.
According to Karasahin, “For single 20 minute daily sessions this system promises to reduce the healing process up to 38% and increase the heal rate up to 80% in non-union fractures.”
Although the cast is currently just a prototype, it is expected that in the near future, patients will actually be able to receive a custom-fitting 3D printed cast. The 3D printing industry itself is a rapidly growing industry in which innovations are constantly being made. 3D printed casts add to a growing list of innovations additive manufacturing techniques have provided the medical industry. As the technology continue to be advanced, the ability to produce these casts will grow stronger. Although you may soon be able to heal your broken bones faster, there is one significant downside to this 3D printed cast – you won’t be able to get it signed by your friends.