Imagine a medical emergency in which a bone is broken so badly that it can’t be repaired. Scientists, engineers and medical experts at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein have developed a solution to deal with just this problem. First, using X-ray technology, the broken bone is 3D modeled – meaning that a computerised version of the bone is created. The shape of a “new bone” is designed on a computer to perfectly replace the broken pieces. Then, this new shape (or implant) is manufactured using advanced manufacture techniques. Surgeons can then remove the pieces of broken bone and replace them with an implant that fits perfectly – allowing the body to heal.

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This content is produced in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology