Researchers from the University of Ontario printed a titanium skull prosthesis on a 3D printer: with the help of it it was possible to restore the real skull of a dog, a significant part of which had to be cut out during surgery to remove the tumor. This is reported on the website of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Titanium is a light and strong metal, which is often used in medicine as a biocompatible material. The most obvious and frequent use of it is dentures and bone implants. Often, titanium is also used for prosthetics of animal organs: for example, two years ago, engineers made a titanium supernormal and Gigi, and earlier a titanium jaw received a sea turtle.
A Canadian scientist under the guidance of a veterinarian-oncologist, Michelle Oblak, a nine-year-old Patches dachshund, was diagnosed with a brain tumor: a tumor for a long time reminded the host of a big bump. The dog was decided to operate; it turned out, however, that the removal of such a large tumor also implies the removal of a significant portion of the animal’s skull-almost 70 percent. Cut out a bone site was decided to replace the titanium prosthesis, printed on a 3D printer based on the CT scan of the head of Patsches. Usually in such cases, the removed portion of the skull is replaced with a titanium plate; but scientists believe that a prosthesis that repeats the shape of the native skull is the best alternative to such a plate.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) September 24, 2018
After the operation, Patches recovered and feels well. However, a week after the operation, the dog was diagnosed with an intervertebral hernia , as a result of which the lower extremities were paralyzed: this, however, has nothing to do with the installation of the prosthesis.
To create artificial limbs for animals, other materials are used: for example, plastic. In the spring of this year, a plastic leg prothesis, printed on a 3D printer, received a falcon that was hit by a car. About other biomaterials you can also read in the material “And instead of the heart – a fiery motor,” which we prepared jointly with the University of MISiS.