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3D Printing Technology in Artificial Limbs of Animals

Apr 24, 2020

When humans suffer from diseases or physical disabilities, they know how to find a doctor, and when animals have diseases or physical disabilities, they may only be waiting for death, but the emergence of 3D technology seems to bring new hope. The 3D technology provides customized services for animals with physical disabilities to allow animals to regain their splendid lives.


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It is understood that on February 8, 2020, a male crested ibis in the Sichuan crested ibis breeding center was injured in the mouth during a fierce spouse battle. 


On March 1, the staff of the breeding center found that the injured crest had a necrosis 8cm in front of its beak, and it needed to be cut off. After the lower beak lost its support, the injured crested ibis could not eat on its own and could not comb its feathers, which affected its courtship signal and lost its original majestic posture. To this end, the staff must help it to eat food manually every day to maintain its nutrition. 


Medical staff perform an artificial beak operation

successful operation


On March 19, this male crested ibis, whose beak was broken due to a spouse, underwent 3D printed beak installation surgery (using high-strength PEEK material). The operation lasted for 1 hour and was well prepared. Infiltration anesthesia was used with little side effects and the crested ibis was quiet after anesthesia. The beak of the crested ibis is relatively thin and easy to break. It is need more cautious in the operation. Fortunately, the operation was very successful. After more than 10 minutes of observation, the ibis did not react violently.

 

The finished product made of peek material is installed on the crested ibis’ mouth. This is the first case in China, and there is no experience to learn from. 


An injured crested ibis returned to the breeding center after surgery with its eyes covered in black


The staff said that the operation is relatively smooth from the present. It is necessary to observe carefully after returning to the center and adjust the body of the crested ibis to supplement nutrition then start slowly training it to feed itself.

 

The crested ibis, also known as the "auspicious bird", is listed as a national first-level key protected animal, and its rare and endangered degree exceeds that of the giant panda. At present, there are only more than 4,000 left in China. The crested ibis has a normal life span of more than 20 years, while this wounded crested ibis is only 3 years old.

 

A long time ago, 3D printed prostheses or implants began to be treated for movements, and Antarctic bears have reported many related cases.


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