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News Link • 3D Printing

Woman Has Her Skull Replaced With A 3-D-Printed Plastic One

• http://www.popsci.com, Francie Diep
 A woman with a rare bone disorder has had much of the top of her skull replaced with a 3-D printed plastic piece, Wired U.K. reports. Three months later, she's symptom-free and back to work.
 
The woman's condition made her skull increase in thickness, giving her severe headaches and affecting her eyesight. The surgery, performed at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, gave the woman a replacement that closely matched the original shape of her skull. "It is almost impossible to see that she's ever had surgery," her lead surgeon, Bon Verweij, said in a statement from the university.
 

Verweij's team has used 3-D printing to replace some portions of skulls before, but never to this extent, Wired U.K. reports.

You might see more such stories in the near future. While researchers are still working on 3-D printing soft tissues that are safe for transplants, 3-D-printed bony parts have already shown up in specific surgeries. As in the Utrecht case, doctors often emphasize how personalized such replacements can be.

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