Anyone who has experienced facial scarring can appreciate the pain and embarrassment that often accompanies the disfigurement, no matter how minor. After four relatively simple surgeries to reduce the scarring and improve the shape of my nose, I am still sensitive about how it looks - but then I read the following story in 3dprint.com which described the medical miracle of a man who got a new face - and lease on life - through 3D printing. To say it put things into perspective would be an understatement...
Until recently, most prostheses have been functionally or cosmetically lacking. (I remember a patient who had lost her lower jaw to disease, and she had a basic plastic cup that just sat where her jaw had been). Now, 3D scanning, modeling and printing are achieving lifelike results that closely match the recipient's existing features.
Keith Londsdale is one such beneficiary of medical additive manufacturing. His son, Scott, worked with Jason Watson, a Reconstructive Scientist at Nottinghams' Queen's Medical Center, to create a prosthetic that incorporated Scott's features to ensure a familial likeness.
Imagine the day when such prostheses are bio printed using living skin cells.