3D Printed Plastic Cast Speeds Bone Recovery Using Ultrasound

3D printing just keeps getting bigger and better. The latest prototype creates a cast by combining 3D printing and ultrasound pulses. This does not only make the cast comfortable to wear with plenty of space for air but it also looks cool. Most important of all, the cast catalyzes the process of healing! What gives the cast the ultra-speed recovering properties is the incorporation of Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) that is known to speed up regrowth of bones. Designer of the latest prototype, Deniz Karasahin is positive about the prospects of his new design and believes it will go a long way.

3D printed cast
Courtesy: A’ Design Awards

Wherever the LIPUS is used in a session at some medical clinic, the cast is connected to a portable ultrasound generator. If a session is expected to last 20 minutes, the healing process is reduced as much as 38 percent while the healing rate ascends by 80 percent. These figures are taken from ranges generated during trails of the LIPUS. Using LIPUS requires direct attachment of probes to the human skin so using fiberglass cast makes this rather complicated. Jake Evill’s Cortex exoskeletal cast provides a solution, though. This 3D printed cast is lightweight, spacious and odorless.

A 3D scanner as well as X-Ray maps the region that requires assistance which helps design and print a cast accordingly. Two separate halves are designed and later snapped together. The spaces close to the region of injury are deliberately made small in order to enhance support. However, they are big enough for one to reach an itch to scratch. There is absolutely no denying that LIPUS has helped a great deal in medical studies and the positive response it received is quite appreciable. However, it has still not been readily adopted around the globe. The main argument is that the amount of benefit received in various cases is too insignificant to justify its widespread use. There is no word on the cost yet but expect it to significantly reduce as 3D printing becomes common around the globe.