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Bones made to order: UR Medical Center attempting to use 3-D printing, stem cells to regenerate bone tissue

Monday, February 27, 2017

Birbeck

Hani Awad (left) and Edward Schwarz

This news story appeared in the Democrat & Chronicle on February 27, 2017. It features University of Rochester biomedical engineering professors Hani Awad and Edward Schwarz, who are leading the way in using 3-D printers and stem cells to create bone replacements for patients. The online version can be found here.

Imagine getting a made-to-order bone implanted in your body that's composed of your own cells.

Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have been developing a procedure to use 3-D printing and stem cells from the patient to create bones made of regenerated tissue.

This multi-step procedure still has a ways to go before it is tested on humans and can become part of the services provided by URMC's Center for Musculoskeletal Research. But it's the latest example of how 3-D printing, which is increasingly finding its place in manufacturing, is leaving its mark in medicine.

“It is changing the way we do a lot of things,” said Hani Awad, who is associate director of the center and professor of biomedical engineering with a specialty in tissue engineering.

Biomedical research, as it is being done in this initiative, is an important component of the medical center's identity.

"Part of our mission is that we want to do research that is impactful," said Stephen Dewhurst, vice dean for research at the medical center.

Read More: Bones made to order: UR Medical Center attempting to use 3-D printing, stem cells to regenerate bone tissue