Doctors in the Netherlands have done something so Future that it’s hard to believe they haven’t time-traveled from the year 40331 ADΩ to dazzle us with their alien science: they have successfully created and implanted the world’s first jaw transplant made by a 3D printer.
As far as I can confirm (which is to say, I can’t), these doctors are a product of our current era and this science of tomorrow has been created in our time. The implant, according to the BBC, is made out of a titanium powder and, amazingly, took only a few hours to print.
“Once we received the 3D digital design, the part was split up automatically into 2D layers and then we sent those cross sections to the printing machine,” Ruben Wauthle, LayerWise’s medical applications engineer, told the BBC.
“This was repeated with each cross section melted to the previous layer. It took 33 layers to build 1mm of height, so you can imagine there were many thousand layers necessary to build this jawbone.”
The recipient of this sci-fi jawbone was an 83-year-old woman who had suffered from a chronic bone infection. To put this stunning surgery into perspective, her doctors believed that reconstructive surgery to her jaw would have been too risky yet a 3D printer-created jawbone transplant to replace her current jawbone was okay. She even got to go home a mere four days after the surgery.
Either that is the toughest 83-year-old lady I’ve ever heard of or this surgery really is that revolutionary. Watch the video below of the jawbone being created and you might just have to agree with both of those previous statements:
As if stunning the press (and the world!) with the successful creation and surgical implantation of a jawbone made from a 3D printer wasn’t enough, Wauthle told the BBC that the ultimate goal is to eventually be able to print human organs for transplant.
I, uh… I just don’t know anymore. Superconscious or 3D printered organs? I guess you get to choose how you want to live forever now.