Researchers from the Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research Center, or AMBER, at Dublin's Trinity College have invented a new technique that combines 3D printing technology with biological processes to create viable human bones and aid in bone regrowth. While there have been concepts for 3D printing bones in the past, the AMBER team's technique is the first that could potentially be used on real-world patients.
Though complicated, the system ultimately breaks down into a three step process. First, digital imaging technology creates a template of the missing bone. Next, a 3D printing machine prints out the core structure of that bone. Finally, the AMBER researchers use a bioprinter that fills the core structure with stem cells, resulting in a biologically viable bone segment.