In Beijing, doctors have performed the world's first surgery using a 3D printed vertebra. The procedure was done in the neck of a 12-year-old boy who had developed cancer.
In New York, similar breakthroughs are underway. At NYU Langone Medical Center, a team is using 3D printing technology to help plan and execute "Jaw-in-a-day" surgery that was the first of its kind in the United States. Meanwhile, scientists at Cornell University are at work on prototypes for a 3D printed ear, and at Mount Sinai Hospital, research is focused on bioprinting trachea, more commonly known as windpipes. Once achieved, patients will be able to both breathe and speak.
Dr. David Hirsch, who led the NYU Langone team in the breakthrough jaw surgery, told Business Insider, "This technology is limitless. The only thing that's limited is our ability to think about new applications for it."