AUG 18, 2017 4:57 AM PDT

A 3D Printed Spine Helps a Cancer Patient


3D printing is cutting edge technology that has applications for everything from computer parts to space travel to medical uses. Recently, a patient in China who had undergone extensive surgery on her neck to remove a lethal cancerous tumor, received replacement vertebrae that were made using a 3D printer. While the patient received chemotherapy for her cancer, it wasn't enough to put the disease into remission; the tumor had to be removed surgically as well. This meant that her existing cervical bones would have to be removed.

Doctors took about three weeks to design the replacement bones, which were made out of a titanium alloy. Measuring about 14 centimeters long they were attached in an operation that took nearly 13 hours to complete. The patient was treated at Shanghai Chengzhang Hospital, and the surgery is believed to be the first of its kind. The patient is recovering and getting physical therapy. While it's hard to move her neck and she wears a brace, she can walk.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
OCT 22, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
NASA Looks to Nuclear Fusion for Powering Deep Space Missions
OCT 22, 2020
NASA Looks to Nuclear Fusion for Powering Deep Space Missions
Nuclear fusion is the frontier of energy research, and NASA has a plan to bring this state-of-the-art power source to th ...
DEC 11, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Cosmic Expansion: Universe Stretches, We don't
DEC 11, 2020
Cosmic Expansion: Universe Stretches, We don't
Physicists believe that we exist in an expanding universe. But what does that mean? Do our habitats, bodies, and atoms & ...
FEB 09, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Scientists Spotlight Dangers of Ocean Noise Pollution
FEB 09, 2021
Scientists Spotlight Dangers of Ocean Noise Pollution
Many ocean species use sound to communicate and survive. Sound is a crucial communication method since vision is limited ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
MAY 23, 2021
Space & Astronomy
More Accurate Clocks Create More Disorder in the Universe
MAY 23, 2021
More Accurate Clocks Create More Disorder in the Universe
Physicists at the University of Oxford in the UK have conducted an experiment that suggests the more accurately clocks t ...
JUL 03, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Size of Planet Iron Core Depends on Star Magnetism
JUL 03, 2021
Size of Planet Iron Core Depends on Star Magnetism
Researchers led by the University of Maryland have found that the sun's magnetic field is the reason behind the larg ...
Loading Comments...