3D-printed 'dough' helps fix your fractured bones

One day, you might not have to spend ages waiting for broken bones to heal. Researchers have developed a 3D-printed, dough-like biomaterial that could fill large bone fractures while aiding the recovery process. The porous chemical blend can withstand the same abuse as the spongy parts of your longer bones while still letting cells and proteins through -- it even could release its own proteins to speed up your treatment.

The paste has yet to reach clinical trials, so don't count on getting it if you break your leg in the near future. However, it's relatively easy to make (you can produce it at room temperature) and shouldn't be inordinately expensive. Also, this is only the beginning. The scientists are hopeful that their goo will eventually be useful as a scaffold for reconstructing larger and more complex bones. If the technology advances far enough, you may not have to suffer quite so much if you smash your nose.

[Image credit: IOP Publishing]