3D printed cast speeds up broken bone recovery by up to 80%

A new Turkish designed concept (Osteoid) for a 3D printed cast has recently won an award for speeding up bone repair by huge amounts.

Turkish industrial designer Deniz Karasahin has created the ‘Osteoid’ concept design to revolutionise the medical industry. The 3D printed cast uses low intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) to speed up the healing process.

Simply wearing it daily for 20 minutes is said to “reduce the healing process by up to 38% and increase the heal rate up to 80% in non-union fractures.”

Deniz Karasahin engineered the design in response to a need to improve the healing experience for broken or fractured limbs. Taking the comfort of the patient, as well as the body’s natural requirement for healing time, he came up with a new design, inspired by “cancellous (spongy) bone geometry.”

The new design does away with the clunky and hard to wear nature of traditional casts, instead going with a supporting framework, which allows for better ventilation and comfort. Gone are the days of itchy, smelly casts that can’t be exposed to water.

3D printing has opened up a whole range of medical options, including the creation of organs. The affected area is scanned with a 3D body scanner, at which point the data is fed into modelling software. A design based on the context of the required size and medical needs is created, as well as incorporating a locking mechanism and algorithmically generated ventilation holes. The completed C.A.D data also includes the LIPUS probe adapters, in case the sonic technology will be utilised. The LIPUS bone stimulator system is also produced in the same way as the cast itself.

The LIPUS probes require direct skin contact, which goes some way as to explaining the organic looking structure of the Osteoid. A quick look at the benefits of the new cast system show that so far the concept is far superior to the older method of healing fractures.

  • Speeds up healing
  • More hygienic
  • More comfortable
  • Unique to each patient
  • Allowed near water
  • Better for the environment
  • Customisable

The project is the result of a four-month study in Izmir, Turkey, and has since won the 2014 Golden A’ Design Award in the 3D Printed Forms and Products Design category.

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