RT reports that a Russian startup, known as Zdravprint or Healthprint, has developed a new and innovative way to 3D print custom splints, plasters, and casts.
“The custom-made plastic pieces can be used to replace old fashioned plaster-casts in any medical procedure where a part of the body needs to be immobilized, such as a broken finger or arm.”
Fyodor Aptekarev is one of the founders of Zdravprint. As an avid skateboarder, Aptekarev is no stranger to broken bones, “and never relishes the prospect of wearing an uncomfortable heavy plaster cast, which invariably itches.” Aptekarev was also inspired by the design of a 3D printed dress by Francis Bitonti.
These new 3D plaster casts by Zdravprint offer doctors a lot more flexibility and elasticity than traditional plaster casts. This provides “their patients with a lightweight, comfortable, and hygienic bio-plastic alternative which is waterproof” and allows the skin to breathe underneath.
“Production of the new type of cast takes about 12 hours in terms of the actual printing, and the subsequent fitting can be completed in less than an hour…Unfortunately, a plaster cast is still needed in the first stages of repairing a break as it enables doctors to control and adjust the initial bone union. This lasts for about a week until the swelling subsides. It is only after this time that the 3D printed version can take its turn.”
Aptekarev predicts that these 3D printed casts will take over from the traditional casts within seven years, however.
Photo and Quotes Courtesy of RT