The purpose of this study was to show a 3D printed reconstruction model of a bone destroyed by a comminuted fracture. After a thoracic limb of a cow with a comminuted fracture was scanned by using computed tomography, a scaffold was designed by using a 3D modeling tool for its reconstruction and fabricated by using a homemade medical 3D printer. The homemade medical 3D printer was designed for medical use. In order to reconstruct the geometry of the destroyed bone, we use the geometry of a similar section (reference geometry) of normal bone in the 3D modeling process. The missing part between the destroyed ridge and the reference geometry was filled with an effective space by using a manual interpolation. Inexpensive materials and free software were used to construct the medical 3D printer system. The fabrication of the scaffold progressed according to the design of reconstructed bone by using this medical 3D printer. The material of the scaffold was biodegradable material, and could be transplanted into the human body. The fabricated scaffold was correctly inserted into the fractured bone in place of the destroyed portion, with good agreement. According to physical stress test results, the performance of printing resolution was 0.1 mm. The average geometrical error of the scaffold was below 0.3 mm. The reconstructed bone by using the fabricated scaffold was able to support the weight of the human body. No process used to obtain the result was complex or required many resources. The methods and results in this study show several possible clinical applications in fields such as orthopedics or oncology without a need to purchase high-price instruments for 3D printing.
Medical 3D printer Comminuted fracture Scaffold Physical test
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