3D Printed Bone May Help Treat Birth Defects

Researchers at Northwestern University are experimenting with a 3D printable version of hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral of calcium, extensively used in dental implants and bone grafts for the last six years. Ramille Shah, a researcher and professor in the field of biomaterials engineering and 3D-printing, initiated the idea to 3D print hydroxyapatite. Known as hyperelastic bone, the new 3D printable hydroxyapatite may hold the key to permanently fixing cleft palate in children and many other cranial and facial defects. Meanwhile, Shah and Adam Jakus, one of her former graduate students, have launched a startup called Dimension Inx LLC to help commercialize the 3D ink technology which they have been developing in the lab. “The startup has been formed to bring the technology of academia out of the lab and into the real world,” says Jakus. “