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3-D Printed Skull Successfully Implanted In Woman

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the new-head dept.

Medicine 132

First time accepted submitter djhaskin987 (2147470) writes "The first successful implantation of a 3-D printed skull has taken place in the Netherlands, according to NBC news: 'Doctors in the Netherlands report that they have for the first time successfully replaced most of a human's skull with a 3-D printed plastic one — and likely saved a woman's life in the process. The 23-hour surgery took place three months ago at University Medical Center Utrecht. The hospital announced details of the groundbreaking operation this week and said the patient, a 22-year-old woman, is doing just fine."

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Sweet (3, Interesting)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 7 months ago | (#46600405)

Can I get a bulletproof one?

Re:Sweet (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600475)

It wouldn't help you much, the impact would still damage your brain even if the bullet did not penetrate.

Re:Sweet (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600503)

So penetrating brain injury is only slightly less severe than non penetrating. Do you have data for this?

Shock waves (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46600683)

It's why helmets for cyclists and motorbike riders are not just made of a hard steel shell. Shock waves from fast impacts can pass through a hard material and transmit through something softer, and if they are carrying a lot of energy they can really mess up the softer material.

Re:Shock waves (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600733)

and if they are carrying a lot of energy they can really mess up the softer material.

That is the thing, isn't it. Bullets aren't really carrying that much energy. If distributing it over a larger surface didn't help then the shooter would die from the recoil.
If you can distribute it over your entire head you might change an instantaneous death to a concussion.

Re:Shock waves (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46600887)

The point of impact on a hard surface is very small. From there the primary shock wave would be very energetic.

If you can distribute it over your entire head you might change an instantaneous death to a concussion.

Hence the soft material in the helmets. It spreads the shock wave and absorbs a lot of energy by deforming so that the wearers brain does not need to deform.

Re:Shock waves (4, Informative)

Wootery (1087023) | about 7 months ago | (#46600911)

Wrong. In discharging a gun, the bullet is given much more [yahoo.com] kinetic energy [wikipedia.org] than the gun, due to the disparity in masses. This follows from conservation of momentum, and the definition of kinetic energy.

This is why an armoured soldier can still be injured through his body armour, despite the armour stopping the bullet, whereas the shooter's shoulder is just fine.

Re:Shock waves (2)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 7 months ago | (#46602683)

But the soldier and his body armor have even more mass than the gun. So I don't really see that your description makes sense. Does the fact that the bullet is accelerated over the length of the barrel make a difference. Upon firing, the bullet is accelerated over 6 inches or so (even longer for a rifle), while on hitting the armor it is stopped in a very short distance.

Re:Shock waves (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 7 months ago | (#46604043)

Upon firing, the bullet is accelerated over 6 inches or so (even longer for a rifle), while on hitting the armor it is stopped in a very short distance.

True, but as I understand it that's not really the significant factor here: the disparity in kinetic energy means the duration of the launch doesn't even really matter. Even wearing very thick armour with lots of area, you're still up against far more energy than the shooter.

It's a good point though.

Re:Shock waves (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 7 months ago | (#46604129)

Actually, after posting I had another thought that sounds even more likely to be an important factor. The force of the firing of the bullet in distributed over the handle of a pistol or the butt of the gun, while the force of impact is over the point of the bullet. I bet if you were to taper the butt of the rifle down to the same size as the bullet, it would be pretty damaging to the shooter as well.

Re:Shock waves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603411)

I think your equation is missing a few variables, if you know what I mean.

Re:Shock waves (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 7 months ago | (#46604049)

Nope, no idea. Perhaps you'd care to explain.

(I've not mentioned force, which the Wikipedia article does.)

Re:Shock waves (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46600987)

It's a pressure wave and pressure is force divided by area, so something small moving very fast gives you a lot of pressure in a line from the point of impact into the soft tissue underneath. Something really hard that behaves elasticly, like a thin steel plate, is just going to flex and pass a lot of energy on from where the back edge flexes.

Re:Shock waves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601277)

Who talked about a steel plate?

Re:Shock waves (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46602691)

OK then - a great big bubble head with a few inches of kevlar, otherwise I'd say a hard plate is implied.

Ever been shot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601903)

If the shockwave concept worked as described here bullet proof vests would be useless. Getting hit while wearing armor is trivial. The ammount of kinetic energy a bullet is carrying is small when compared to things you encounter daily. Someone walking up and shoving you or punching you carried many times the energy in most bullets. You've hit yourself in the head harder than a handgun will if the bullet wasn't a penetration everytime you have bent down under a table or cabinet and stood up too soon. It might be worth testing though. You have soem physics on your side. I just do not think it is as cut and dry as you make it seem. I wonder if someone could talk MythBusters into trying it.

Re:Ever been shot? (2)

Megol (3135005) | about 7 months ago | (#46602583)

What about this: you bring a .357 magnum revolver and a class IIIA vest to me, you wear the vest and I'll try your hypothesis (that being hit wearing armor "is trivial")?

A .357 shouldn't penetrate a IIIA vest but the blunt force isn't exactly trivial to handle.

Re:Ever been shot? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46602661)

No you just misunderstand how they work. They are thick for a reason.

yes (1)

Holi (250190) | about 7 months ago | (#46604231)

And it hurts like a bitch.

But more importantly, I have seen people who have been shot while wearing armor. No penetration but Bruises and broken ribs are not uncommon.

Re:Shock waves (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 months ago | (#46601065)

Your brain matter has the same consistency as a bowl of fruit jelly, it barely supports its own weight and would certainly spatter if it fell from your head to the ground. A non-penetrating brain injury such as concussion is where your skull stops suddenly and the jelly inside of it squishes up on one side, it's the jelly's own kinetic energy that does the damage. If you want a car analogy it's the car drivers own kinetic energy that "throws" him through the windscreen when his car abruptly loses all of its kinetic energy.

Re:Shock waves (2)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 7 months ago | (#46602067)

Your brain matter has the same consistency as a bowl of fruit jelly....

What flavor? Oh, sorry.. What flavour?

Vibranium FTW (1)

cb88 (1410145) | about 7 months ago | (#46601999)

Its too bad Captain America has all of it...

Re:Shock waves (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#46602697)

It's why helmets for cyclists and motorbike riders are not just made of a hard steel shell.

Unless you get one of those stupid army-style helmets that are legal in places with shitty motorcycle safety regulations, or as I like to call them, a "Darwin Special."

Re:Sweet (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#46600517)

it would help quite a lot with smaller bullets. concussion is a lot less severe than scrambled eggs inside your head..

Re:Sweet (1)

JazzLad (935151) | about 7 months ago | (#46603355)

I would worry about what would happen in the case of a zombie apocalypse if these were ever common ... I say we ban them, just to be safe.



For the humour-impaired: I'm kidding ... kinda

Re:Sweet (4, Funny)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46601445)

It wouldn't help you much, the impact would still damage your brain even if the bullet did not penetrate.

True, but he could still get a job as a PHP developer.

Can I get one (3, Funny)

vikingpower (768921) | about 7 months ago | (#46600415)

with eSATA, USB 3.0, FireWire 800, HDMI, DVI, RJ45, RJ11 and Thunderbolt ports ? With a 40-year upgrade plan for future interface types ?

Re:Can I get one (4, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 7 months ago | (#46600441)

with eSATA, USB 3.0, FireWire 800, HDMI, DVI, RJ45, RJ11 and Thunderbolt ports ? With a 40-year upgrade plan for future interface types ?

Terrible choice of ports.

eSATA is useless when we have USB 3.0. Even if you wanted eSata for some reason, you should have gotten eSATAp
USB 3.0 is a good choice, but you may as well have listed USB 3.1.
FireWire? Is this 1996?
HDMI? Displayport, please.
DVI? HDMI carries DVI. Again, Displayport, please.
RJ45 is a jack, not an interface or standard. 10 Gbps or 40 Gbps Ethernet would be a good choice.
RJ11 is a jack, not an interface or standard. Your Ethernet cable can carry PoTS or VoIP for you.
Thunderbolt (AKA External PCIe + marketing) is a terrible choice because anyone can just jack in and DMA attack your brain.

Re:Can I get one (2)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 7 months ago | (#46600521)

with eSATA, USB 3.0, FireWire 800, HDMI, DVI, RJ45, RJ11 and Thunderbolt ports ? With a 40-year upgrade plan for future interface types ?

FireWire? Is this 1996?

Firewire is so dead, here's [theguardian.com] an article talking about how Steve Jobs said Firewire is dead.

Re:Can I get one (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46600591)

Now what makes Jobs the authority on death?

Oh... right... never mind.

Re:Can I get one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600557)

One nitpick - eSata can do 6Gbps... USB 3.0 does 5Gbps.

Agreed on eSATAp or USB 3.1 being better

Re:Can I get one (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#46604115)

eSATA is the native protocol of the drive. No translation layer will match it's performance. No matter the headroom in the alternate protocol.

Re:Can I get one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601489)

Infiband? Hello?

-CR

Re:Can I get one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601633)

Firewire is for bypassing the host processor with DMA.

Re:Can I get one (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 7 months ago | (#46602157)

I actually use an eSATAp SSD hard drive frequently. I have an OS installed on it and used it to work and bring it to home when I need to do home office, avoiding having to bring the whole laptop.

I went with eSATAp because:
1) My work and my home computers both have eSATAp ports
2) My work computer does not have USB3.0
3) No need for cases/enclosures to hold the circuitry necessary for USB hard drives (it is far more portable).
4) Theoretical higher performance (and lower latency) compared to USB2.0

I have not measured performance of eSATAp vs USB2.0 or USB3.0, but the SSD is blazing fast running on eSATAp. If you have more info on performance of USB3.0 vs eSATAp I am interested (latency in special is more important when running OSs on external hdd), if I ever change computers on my work I might go for a USB3.0 case.

But you are right, eSATAp days are counted, the upsides are not worth the extra port if USB3.0 can provide almost (or better) as good performance. eSATAp ports work as a USB2.0 port as well, but nobody (except me I guess) uses the SATA part, it is hard to justify their inclusion. You have no idea how hard it was to find a eSATAp cable...

Re:Can I get one (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 7 months ago | (#46600875)

What, no analogue 1/4" TRS audio jacks? Weak.

Re:Can I get one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600925)

with eSATA, USB 3.0, FireWire 800, HDMI, DVI, RJ45, RJ11 and Thunderbolt ports ? With a 40-year upgrade plan for future interface types ?

Why? You are not a computer.

Re:Can I get one (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 7 months ago | (#46601185)

Of course we are, just a different kind.

Re:Can I get one (1)

jdavidb (449077) | about 7 months ago | (#46603621)

What, no wireless?

How Soon Before the Lawyers Are on the TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600431)

Advertising how to get money for this?

Have you had your skull printed in plastic by a 3D printer? Call me now!

Plastic Skull? (1, Informative)

divide overflow (599608) | about 7 months ago | (#46600437)

Hope they didn't use that nasty Chinese plastic thats full of phthalates....

Medical grade plastics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600761)

Medical grade plastics are actually much safer for your health than any metals, so, go back to school before you hurt yourself by saying something retarded....

Re:Medical grade plastics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600965)

Why did you include the angry "so, go back to school before you hurt yourself by saying something retarded" part in the end? Knowing about medical grade plastics is very specialized information, you can't really call someone retarded for not knowing that stuff.

Re:Medical grade plastics (2)

Racemaniac (1099281) | about 7 months ago | (#46601057)

"Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt"
Or in this case: if he doesn't know anything about it, why immediately assume the plastics would be dangerous (and that expert doctors pioneering such a procedure wouldn't think of it)...

He wouldn't have gotten the angry comment if he had simply asked if the plastic can't give health issues, instead of making a sensationalist comment about it without knowing anything about the subject...

Re:Medical grade plastics (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601271)

Sensationalist or sarcastic? I think you flew off the handle a little too quick there. His comment was harmless, re-read it.

Re:Medical grade plastics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602079)

Also, China sucks

Skeleton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600443)

There goes our titanium skeleton... meh, progress...

The advantage (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600771)

Titanium very often contains nickel to harden hit, about 4% of people can get pretty severe allergic reactions over an extended period of time.
the advantage of composites, is that they're easier and safer to replace with less harm to the soft tissue surrounding it.

Dolphins with explosives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600445)

The only counter is sharks with laser beams!

Its transparent.... (4, Funny)

tonywestonuk (261622) | about 7 months ago | (#46600457)

How cool is that!!! If that was me, I would make sure they didn't put the skin back on, and added a few blue flashing LED's for additional affect.

Re:Its transparent.... (3, Insightful)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 7 months ago | (#46600463)

That would be awesome until the first time your brain got sunburned.

Re:Its transparent.... (5, Funny)

Lairdykinsmcgee (2500904) | about 7 months ago | (#46600519)

Sunburnt brain... Now that's a super villain origin story if I ever heard one.

Re:Its transparent.... (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 7 months ago | (#46600819)

The article doesn't say anything about clear plastic being used...

Re:Its transparent.... (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 7 months ago | (#46600833)

Doh! But then there's the picture that loaded this time. *LOL*

My bad.

Re:Its transparent.... (1)

leftover (210560) | about 7 months ago | (#46603005)

I did wonder about that, having read that all nerve tissue is light-responsive. What would sunlight do to thought processes? Trans Cranial Optical Stimulation?

Re:Its transparent.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600627)

Transparent skulls look bad on humans, since they have such small brains. It looks better on a gallamite [memory-alpha.org] .

Additional affect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602667)

good one - or maybe typo ??

Re:Its transparent.... (1)

antdude (79039) | about 7 months ago | (#46604559)

Affect != Effect

Adamantium (3, Interesting)

Jesrad (716567) | about 7 months ago | (#46600491)

Do they make them in adamantium yet ?

Fantastic. (1)

jcr (53032) | about 7 months ago | (#46600535)

Printing it is one thing, but I'm amazed that it's possible to install it.

-jcr

Re:Fantastic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600549)

Why? What do you think surgeons have been doing so far?

Re:Fantastic. (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 months ago | (#46600593)

Replacing much smaller and less complicated parts.

Re:Fantastic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600635)

I don't think so. Peeling back the scalp and taking the skull cap off is really not such a big deal. Honestly, where have you been for the last 150 years? And what can be less complicated than a bowl??????

Re:Fantastic. (4, Funny)

narcc (412956) | about 7 months ago | (#46600937)

And what can be less complicated than a bowl??????

A plate.

Re:Fantastic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603433)

+1 informative

Re:Fantastic. (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46600615)

It's not as amazing as it sounds at first. As far as I can tell they didn't try to replace any of the facial skull area. Now THAT would be a feat and a half, considering just how many muscles and nerves are dependent on being on the "right" spot on the skull and being correctly attached, let alone all of our senses. This implant was only for the "brain" part of the skull, i.e. the upper/back half of it. Very important, after all that's what protects our brain, but far less complicated to handle from a medical point of view.

It's actually less stunning from a medical point of view than from a purely technological one. Operations where the skull cover is removed to ease the pressure on the brain are not so uncommon. What's new now is "merely" that the replacement implant fits far better to the patient, instead of a "one size fits all" that gets shaped and fitted on the OP table, with varying and often limited success, the patient now gets a 100% fitting part.

That IS a big advancement in medicine. But more for the technical side of medicine, less so for the actual surgical point of view.

Re:Fantastic. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46600707)

As far as I can tell they didn't try to replace any of the facial skull area

Around 2000 or so a surgeon near me used a 3D printed plastic skull from scans to plan an operation that did replace a lot of a facial skull area with pieces taken from another part of the patient's heavily deformed skull. The plastic model is probably still on display in the government building where I saw it in 2002. While that example was re-implanting portions of the patient's bone in different places the surgery on the face may be similar to what would be done with an implant.

Re:Fantastic. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601011)

"3D printing", like "cloud" or or "Elon" or "libertarian" are buzzwords which a dying Slashdot hope will bring more commenters/hits/ad clicks.

Anyone standing sufficiently far back can see everything as being a slow evolution. Except for the occasional serendipitous discovery, almost all the big discoveries involved being in the right place at the right time, adding a little bit of extra brilliance to the mountain which had already been built.

Re:Fantastic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601869)

Are you retarded? Honest question; it sure seems that way.

Re:Fantastic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601497)

It's not as amazing as it sounds at first. As far as I can tell they didn't try to replace any of the facial skull area. Now THAT would be a feat and a half, considering just how many muscles and nerves are dependent on being on the "right" spot on the skull and being correctly attached, let alone all of our senses. This implant was only for the "brain" part of the skull, i.e. the upper/back half of it. Very important, after all that's what protects our brain, but far less complicated to handle from a medical point of view.

It's actually less stunning from a medical point of view than from a purely technological one. Operations where the skull cover is removed to ease the pressure on the brain are not so uncommon. What's new now is "merely" that the replacement implant fits far better to the patient, instead of a "one size fits all" that gets shaped and fitted on the OP table, with varying and often limited success, the patient now gets a 100% fitting part.

That IS a big advancement in medicine. But more for the technical side of medicine, less so for the actual surgical point of view.

This would be a great feet if done cheaply...... im tired to see big expensive advances...... anyways its an advance.....

Amazing that this has been done (2)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | about 7 months ago | (#46600553)

The present is looking more and more like Ghost in the Shell. I love it.

First? How can outcomes "often" be better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600609)

How can this be the first time that it's been done, and this statement also be true:

"Now we can use 3-D printing to ensure that these components are an exact fit. This has major advantages, not only cosmetically but also because patients often have better brain function compared with the old method."

Which outcomes are they comparing with the old method? This is the first one.

Re:First? How can outcomes "often" be better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600623)

Go get some sleep. You're making no sense.

Re:First? How can outcomes "often" be better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600773)

Compared to casting

Re:First? How can outcomes "often" be better? (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 7 months ago | (#46600897)

It's the "often" that he's objecting to, not the "compared".

Ie, "How can the outcomes of the new method (which we've used once) "often" be better than the old method?"

Re: First? How can outcomes "often" be better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602375)

By comparing the one instance of new individually to each of the old instances, in most of these one-to-one comparisons (that is, often) you'll find new does better.

Bad choice of word, sure, but technically still syntactically correct.

Re: First? How can outcomes "often" be better? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 7 months ago | (#46602905)

They've only just done it. How do they know how it turns out long term? They probably expect it to turn out well, but to say that it often works well is massively jumping the gun.

video of the surgery (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600979)

A short video of the surgery where you can see the implant.

http://tweakers.net/video/8879/volledige-kunststof-3d-geprinte-schedel-geimplanteerd.html

old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601023)

published days ago everywhere else. Slashdot is a fishwrap now? If I want to read pathetic jokes about old crap, I hit up cracked.com ...

The story bellow it (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46601131)

How did this story make it on slashdot but the story bellow it:

Russia Uses Ukraine's Dolphin Squad, But for What Porpoise?

Not?

Re:The story bellow it (1)

Clyde Machine (1851570) | about 7 months ago | (#46601329)

Because Russia didn't 3-D print Ukraine's Dolphin Squad, I guess.

Can one 3D-print adamantium yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601139)

Just thinking ;)

Re:Can one 3D-print adamantium yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603559)

No, you weren't

If it were me (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 7 months ago | (#46601257)

I'd have made damn sure they slipped a layer of tinfoil atop my brain before buttoning up.

"Doing just fine" (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about 7 months ago | (#46601487)

Right, sure. If my skull had just been replaced, I a sure I would be doing just fine. This is right out of RoboCop...

Socialized medicine (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601543)

The article must be a mistake. The Netherlands has socializes medicine. This sort of innovation only happens in capitalistic healthcare systems.

Re: Socialized medicine (2)

Asha2004 (460204) | about 7 months ago | (#46602725)

Actually in the Netherlands a lot of hospitals are affiliated to universities. That assures they are interested and willing to invest in unique cases for research purposes. Capitalistic systems are only interested in return on investment.

Re: Socialized medicine (1)

digsbo (1292334) | about 7 months ago | (#46603217)

Capitalistic systems are only interested in return on investment.

I guess that explains the total lack of charitable hospitals in the USA. Oh wait...

Hair? (1)

AndyBaker (3596685) | about 7 months ago | (#46601579)

So this girl's going to be without hair, correct?

Re:Hair? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46602301)

They're going to give her brand-new, 3D-printed hairs.

Re:Hair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602671)

As long as she is still hot from the neck down, it shouldn't impede her sex life THAT bad.

Re:Hair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602919)

Her new boyfriend is a 3D-printed penis.

Re:Hair? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#46602921)

No, her hair's still on her scalp which is on the outside of the skull.

Re:Hair? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 7 months ago | (#46602925)

I wondered about that too. In the video I watched it looked like they left her with the transparent skull exposed. I'm not sure if they went back later to put the hair on or not. If they did put skin on later I'm not sure if it would grow hair or not. Failing that, they do make some very nice and very well fitting wigs for cancer patients, so I imagine they'll fit her with one of them.

Re:Hair? (1)

Holi (250190) | about 7 months ago | (#46604303)

Your skull grows hair?

Not new (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601843)

I'm always surprised when these stories get reported. As a neurosurgeon, this has been done in various forms for >50yrs. I remember as a resident pounding titanium plates on a roundish metal head anvil on the sterile back table, then cutting it to shape. 3-d milled titanium and PEEK implants became commercially available in 2002 - custom generated from the patient's own CT scan. 3-d printed implants have been available for a few years (?2010) and have the advantage of being able to fit more complex shapes than a 4-or 5 axis milled piece, but don't match the strength of milled pieces. Typically the lead time to mill/print a piece is about 3 weeks and cost ranges from 6-10k.

Eve of a new era (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#46602081)

There. That's much better than a rib.

anyone knowing to suspect the serious biochemical (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603887)

anyone knowing to suspect the serious biochemical issue - article so innocent after supressing the cause - PLEASE request the adding a PUBLIC HEALTH NOTE

My aunt had one for years ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46604483)

My aunt had 3 brain surgeries in a developing country for a slow growing benign brain tumor.

After the second operation, they replaced part of her skull cap with a plastic sheet, and she is living for years and had the 3rd operation with that in her head.

But it is not 3D printed, so not cool/shiny/news worthy ...

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