A 10-year-old boy in China received a 3D printed jaw in what doctors are calling a pediatric surgery first.
The titanium alloy transplant was carried out during a three-hour procedure at the No.2 Hospital of Shandong University this month.
The patient, surnamed Feng, received groundbreaking surgery after having part of his jaw removed while extracting a tumor in September.
Lai Qingguo, head of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the hospital, had researched 3D printed prosthetics in the UK in 2015.
Lai said the procedure had never been attempted on a child and felt Feng a perfect candidate. However, his age posed a serious challenge as his bones were still growing.
Lai and his team began preparations in January, including printing resin models of Feng's jaw and twice rehearsing the surgery.
Lai said that Feng has taken well to the implant. "His laws have lined up nicely and there is ample tissue growth," said Lai.