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Direct Sound Printing – researchers hope to 3D print implants into our body without surgery

A research team at Concordia University in Canada has come up with some truly science fiction health tech which takes the idea of non-invasive surgery to its ultimate state. Direct Sound Printing uses the cavitation caused by ultra high-frequency sound waves to create solids out of liquids. Which means you can create a solid implant by injecting a liquid resin into the body and then vibrate it into shape using precise instrumentation aka a ‘print head’.

Mind blown yet? The temperatures and pressures used are scarily high, but the team has successfully done tests using pig tissue, although nothing has actually been ‘implanted’ yet. They created an ear and a nose from the resin using just sound waves and hope to one day replicate this inside a living body.

Researcher Muthukumaran Packirisamy says they hope to move on from polymer printing to metal composites soon, which sounds both terrifying and exciting at the same time. One step closer to a T2 maybe? Naturally we’re expecting the technology to take at least 10 years to get anywhere near commercial viability, but it definitely could be one to watch in the future.

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