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Osteoid - 3D Printed Ultrasound Cast

By: on April 26, 2014

Great. Now kids are going to start breaking one another's arms just so they can get a sick 3D-printed cast with attached bone stimulator to set and heal it. I mean, that's what I'd do if I were a kid. OK, maybe with a few Maker's down the hatch I still would. The Osteoid cast is like a the raddest hybrid of medieval armor and a superhero costume and a sleeve tattoo ever. Yeah...I guess it also smacks slightly of a ladies' glove, but....whatever. If I get drunk enough tonight there's a 52% chance I'm going to have my friend Cornelius run over my forearm with his fat bike.

An A' Design Award & Competition winner, Deniz Karasahin's Osteoid project endeavors to improve the healing experience for people with broken or fractured limbs. The most obvious benefit of his 3D-printed cast over traditional plaster or fiberglass casts is its thorough ventilation of the skin beneath. Did any of you break a bone when you were younger? Was it not the most grotesque pleasure you ever experienced to smell that area of your body right after your cast was removed? It's was like...riper than the in betweens of a big fat fatty's fat rolls. And the best part was tackling younger siblings and smothering them in the rotting organic stench. That said, I think it's a pleasure we can do without, and one Osteoid will largely eliminate.

Despite its open design, Osteoid says it will not sacrifice a cast's structural integrity or bone support capabilities. The casts are 3D printed with FDM from ABS plastic, a strong and durable material that is also slim, lightweight, and waterproof. So the bulkiness, heft, and submersion restrictions of an inches-thick cocoon encircling damaged body parts will also be no more.

Once introduced on a broad scale (the project recently completed a 4-month study in Turkey), Osteoid casts will be fitted via a 3D body scanner for precise patient limb dimensions, and then transferred to modeling software to create the cast design for 3D printing.

If desired, the Osteoid cast can also pair with a complementary low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) bone stimulator system. The holes in the cast have been specifically designed for compatibility with this device. By placing its ultrasound probes directly on the skin over an injured area, LIPUS can help speed the bone healing process with single, 20-minute sessions during each day of wear. Data suggests use of the LIPUS will reduce the healing process up to 38%, and increase the heal rate up to 80% in non-union fractures.

Osteoid medical casts consist of 2 pieces that affix like those of a jigsaw puzzle. A flexible pin inserted into a central hole passing through the edges of these pieces keeps them tightly connected. LIPUS probes attach to casts via a thin layer of rubber at the edges of the LIPUS adapters.

Muchas danke to Laughing Squid.

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