Stephen Luntz
iflscience.com

A new prototype brings together 3D printing, room to breathe and ultrasound pulses to create a cast that is not only comfortable and stylish to wear but is expected to speed healing relative to existing options.

In a move that is less The Singing Bone or Singing Bones than Singing to the Bones designer Deniz Karasahin has adopted the idea of using Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound, (LIPUS) to speed bone regrowth. Pulses of sound waves too high frequency to hear have been shown to increase the incorporation of calcium ions in cultures of cartilage and bone cells, as well as increasing the expression of genes known to assist in healing.

However, despite success in vitro and promising results from clinical studies LIPUS has not been widely adopted, partly because the measured benefit has varied across trials, in some cases appearing too small to justify the effort.

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