Most of us will break a bone at some point in our lives. No matter how hard our bones are, we’re often willing to push them a little too far. So why not have a fashionable cast that not only looks good, but helps your bones heal? That’s the idea behind Osteoid.
Osteoid is a concept developed by Deniz Karasahin, and it essentially solves two problems at once. The first is a matter of getting the right cast. Currently, we use strips of plaster to bind the limb into place and properly align the bone for healing. But that’s a clunky, difficult process, even with its current improvements; a 3D-printed cast would be faster, cheaper, and a perfect fit, every time. It’s also an “open” design, meaning your arm gets to breathe and you won’t smell terrible when the cast comes off.
But it’s the ultrasound that’s more important.
It’s been shown in research that ultrasound, properly placed and at the right frequency, can actually cut down on bone healing time by up to 40%. Yes, it can cut your time in a cast by nearly half. Why, you might ask, isn’t this standard procedure at hospitals across the United States? Because in order to be effective, the probes have to be placed directly over the injury.
Modern casts can’t really fit that into their design, but the Osteoid just builds slots for ultrasound right into the design. No muss, no fuss.
Again, this is sadly just a concept for now, but it’s one that has a lot of good ideas involved. In fact, we’re fairly sure that Karasahin’s “concept” is going to be applied sooner rather than later, especially as 3D printers become more commonplace. Of course, we still recommend not breaking bones, but if you have to, at least there’s a leap forward in the way we fix them.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.