Washington State University researchers have used a 3-D printer to create a bone-like material and structure that can be used in orthopedic procedures, dental work and to deliver medicine for treating osteoporosis. Paired with actual bone, it acts as a scaffold for new bone to grow on and ultimately dissolves with no apparent ill effects.
This is big news in more ways than one- the elements used are quite easy to access, and the process is based on some well-known materials.
A main finding of the paper is that the addition of silicon and zinc more than doubled the strength of the main material, calcium phosphate.
The economics of this discovery alone are staggering and there’s a definite medical pedigree going back a long way. Calcium phosphate is one of the materials used in Schuessler biochemistry
. Schuessler, for those who don’t know, was the guy who invented the word biochemistry in the 19th century. Calcium phosphate was one of the “biochemic salts” identified as the main mineral compounds in the human body. It’s used for bone repair, to improve concentration, for better circulation and for tissue respiration.
Says my Schuessler Biochemic Handbook:
“This tissue salt is concerned with the formation of bone and teeth and thus becomes an important remedy for children… It aids growth and normal development and should be given in cases of backwardness; more particularly where there is bone weakness or recurring tooth troubles… Calc. Phos. Is the biochemic remedy for rickets. It is a constituent of saliva and gastric juice.
Calcium phosphate is the biochemic remedy for literally over a hundred conditions (see note below regarding homeopathy's disgusting attempt to associate Schuessler with its own very dubious achievements.). It's also a major metabolite, found around the body in various forms and functions, so it's no surprise that it behaves so helpfully as bone scaffolding. They couldn't possibly have picked a better combination of reabsorbable materials. It’s also a very easily accessible material, obtainable from bone or synthesized from calcium and phosphorous.
Silica, otherwise known as sand in the SO2 form, is also a bone, teeth and hair constituent and used in the elimination of wastes, notably from things like gumboils. Economically in the right form, it’s also plentiful.
Zinc is a well-known all-rounder in human biology, occurs in tissues, organs and the immune system, among other functions, and easy to source organically.
The scaffolding to help bone regrowth has been a major issue for a long time. It’s been known for ages that severe fractures, like those seen in osteoporosis, can be repaired, but providing scaffolding in tailor made form for complex fractures is about as easy as it sounds.
The big difference is in the 3D CAD capabilities. The new CAD systems are way beyond the antiques that designed the Dubai tower. 3D printing, like 3D CAD, can be ultra-accurate on any scale, and it can work on the same scale as an inkjet printer. In fact, this particular printer is based on an inkjet:
The printer works by having an inkjet spray a plastic binder over a bed of powder in layers of 20 microns, about half the width of a human hair. Following a computer's directions, it creates a channeled cylinder the size of a pencil eraser.
The printer is a development of an existing 3D printer originally designed to print metal objects, so it's a high performance machine, appropriate for working with such a difficult subject. That’s a lot of microns, in something the size of an eraser, which is a good benchmark size for a severe major fracture. It also means these scaffolds can be tailored extremely accurately, to deal with even the most vicious and problematic fractures. The ramifications for this discovery are nothing more or less than doing the virtually impossible. The crippling effects of these fractures may well, finally be a thing of the past.
Washington State University may have come up with a surgeon’s dream here- A real fix to serious structural issues created by fractures is a major breakthrough in a hideously difficult, dangerous and often thankless type of surgical reconstruction. These fractures traditionally always leave a horrible legacy of related problems, and those problems may finally be solved.
They're even talking about custom ordering bone scaffolding in a few years. Fantastic one minute, best practice the next.
A note about Schuessler and his remedies
The Schuessler remedies work, by the way. I’ve been taking Schuessler salts for over a decade. They even helped me get over depression. If you're looking for some absolutely fascinating reading, the theory and practice of biochemic remedies is the ultimate refutation of the quackery of "mystic" alternative therapies.
Sorry for the link above, but just about all references to Schuessler claim he was a homeopath or somehow related to homeopathy. He wasn't. He was an accredited doctor of medicine. Homeopathy is claiming to have "discovered" Schuessler. It didn't. It didn't discover the copper content in dandelions or the role of copper in human biology, either. This is and was real science, and these tissue salts are 100% benign, and rhetoric-proof, even from homeopaths and other recent arrivals in the School of Assumption of Superior Knowledge.
Schuessler salts are available in the weird homeopathic 6x formulations, but they work anyway. Best practice dosages are like the Blackmores brand, in mg, or other recognized formulations, not "whatever we multiply by whatever" dosages. That's such an insulting and uninformative way to describe a dose of anything. Even quasi-medicinal bull.
I deeply resent any suggestion that mumbo jumbo and its brain dead, patronizing marketing can heal anything. I tried these salts, they work, and for some reason I didn't read any pamphlets from impoverished multinationals when researching the subject. Check out Schuessler for yourselves, talk to a doctor about the actual medical benefits, and leave the self proclaimed messiahs out of your daily mineral intake.