Thousands of Syrian refugees have been injured after being hit by barrel bombs and other explosives in their war-torn homeland, and many are unable to access the necessary medical services due to the collapse of the medical system. Therefore, the only option is often amputation.
On June 22, 2020, the Antarctic bear learned from foreign media that researchers from Manchester University developed a simple and cheap method to repair the amputated limb with 3D printing “bone brick” according to the urgent medical needs of Syria refugee camp.
They developed a temporary 3D printing “bone brick” – made of polymer and ceramic materials – to fill the gap left by explosive damage. These tiles degrade and allow new tissue to grow around them. As it dissolves, the structure supports the load like a normal bone, while inducing new bone formation.
Create a simple, low-cost solution for medical prosthesis
Since the beginning of the conflict, barrel bombs have caused a lot of damage, suffering and suffering to Syria and its civilians. According to relevant reports and statistics, since 2012, barrel bombs have killed more than 11000 civilians and injured more people in Syria.
If a person survives an explosion, their limbs are still likely to suffer huge, usually serrated fractures. Even in the best of conditions, the repair of this injury is a major challenge, as there is access to well-equipped, state-of-the-art hospitals for professional plastic surgery and expensive postoperative care. However, refugee camps are a daily reality for many Syrians, and they are far away from any advanced surgical intervention, which means that in many cases amputation is the most likely outcome.
Inspired by the plight of refugees in Syria, Bartolo and the University of Manchester team have developed a convenient procedure to help those in need of emergency medical care. Bartolo, who grew up in Mozambique in south-east Africa in 1968 during the war of independence, explained that he recognized the continuing suffering and suffering of the Syrian civil war.
When Amer Shoaib, a consultant orthopaedic physician at the Royal Infirmary in Manchester, visited Manchester university to discuss his experience in treating these injuries of Syria refugees in refugee camps in Turkey, the idea of 3D printing bone bricks came into being. “He told us that in Syria, the aftermath of explosive injuries sometimes cannot be treated because there is a constant risk of infection. The collapse of the medical system has also led to the fact that many treatments are performed by untrained medical staff. “Bartolo explained.
Bartolo and his research colleagues Andy Weightman and Glenn Cooper decided to help and apply their expertise. Bartolo’s academic interests focused on the biological manufacturing of 3D printing tissue engineering. But Bartolo said: “we have to consider […] making scaffolds more cost-effective and can be used to manage very difficult harsh environments such as infections. “
The team chose to use 3D printing as a low-cost solution for creating bone tiles, integrating biodegradable porous structures into which antibiotic ceramic paste can be injected. Bone brick prosthesis and paste can not only prevent infection, but also promote bone regeneration, and establish mechanical and stable bone union in the healing period. With support from the global challenge research fund, the team went to Turkey to continue the development of prostheses and to help the Syrian refugee community there to have first-hand exchanges with scholars, surgeons and medical companies that have been dealing with refugees and their injuries. This ensures that the shape and design of 3D printed bone tiles are as consistent as possible with the needs of first-line clinicians.
The team is also developing software that will allow clinicians to choose the exact number of tiles with a specific shape and size, and information on how to assemble for a specific bone defect. “The bone brick solution is more cost-effective than the current treatment,” Bartolo said. We expect our arthropod solution to cost less than £ 200 for a typical 100mm fracture injury. It’s much cheaper than the current solution, which could cost between £ 270 and £ 1000 depending on the type required. “
Now in the final phase of the three-year project, Bartolo and his team have used computer simulation to evaluate the bone brick, created a prototype in the laboratory using 3D printing, and tested the mechanical and biological properties of the bone brick in vitro. The next step is animal testing, in preparation for regulatory approval, a project that will prepare human patients for testing.
Compiled from: 3dprinting industry