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3D-Printed Osteoid Cast Uses Ultrasound to Speed Up Bone Healing

Say goodbye to the bulk, itchiness, and odor of traditional medical casts made of plaster. Turkish industrial designer Deniz Karasahin has come up with the concept design Osteoid, a 3D-printed cast that could completely transform the healing process for broken bones. This unique concept won the 2014 Golden A' Design Award in the 3D-Printed Forms and Products Design category.

The lightweight cast, which features a multitude of ventilation holes, can be paired with a low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) bone stimulator system that speeds up the healing process by 38 percent. Using ultrasound pulses that are transmitted through probes placed directly on the skin for 20 minutes a day, the system can increase the heal rate up to 80 percent. Since the process requires direct skin contact, it's impossible to use with conventional plaster casts, but it can be used effectively with the Osteoid's innovative design.

In addition to its amazing healing potential, the Osteoid is also aesthetically attractive and completely customizable. The area with the bone injury is scanned with a 3D body scanner; with this data, the cast and the LIPUS bone simulator system probes are 3D-printed to fit the patient perfectly. The final product is made from two pieces that are put together like a jigsaw puzzle and connected with a flexible pin. The cast can be printed in a variety of colors to suit the preference of each individual.




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