The best way to achieve perfection is not to work hard at it, but rather to just let it happen naturally, according to a new paper published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
It’s a view that has inspired Drs. Roberta Sánchez-Burgos and Roberta Paz de la Torre to explore the best ways to work with and look after the plastic parts that make up our bodies.
Their paper is called The Beauty of Plastic Surgery.
The authors used a process called bioprinting to build a 3D model of a patient’s hand, which can then be used to create a prosthetic.
For the bioproduct, they used a plastic tissue from the inside of a thumb, finger, or palm.
“We used this tissue because it is the most abundant and we found that when you print out this kind of tissue, you can get the best results from it,” said Sánchiz-Bergos.
This plastic tissue is then printed into the patient’s forearm, which they then attach to their body using a prosthesis.
Once attached to the forearm, the prosthetic becomes the patient, and it is used to make them look like a different person.
Sáncheyz-Bergozes team has now developed a system that allows surgeons to remove the tissue in real time and then repair the area as needed, without removing any of the surrounding tissue.
To make their 3D printed prosthesis, the team attached plastic tissues to the inside edges of their finger tips and inserted them into the holes created by their prosthetic to create the new hand.
They then attached the prosthesis to the patient using a small plastic screw, then inserted the screw into the hand and connected it to a small battery powered microcontroller.
Then, the microcontroller sends commands to the prosthetics processor and they attach the prostheses finger tip to the electrode.
At this point, the patient can then remove the prosthesized finger tip and replace it with a normal hand.
“If you look at a human hand, it is an intricate piece of tissue,” said co-author Dr. Carlos González, a professor of surgery at the University of Southern California and a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Plastic Surgery in Germany.
“With a prosthesizing procedure, we can use this tissue to create an extremely intricate, natural hand.”
Dr. Gonzálas explained that the process works by using a mixture of proteins that mimic the function of nerve cells in the hand to bind to a protein in the prostherol acetate (PA).
“When we put these proteins into the prostech tissue, they bind to the receptor and it activates the nerve cells and creates an electrical signal, which allows the nerves to send signals,” said Gonzáles.
When the prosthetically printed prosthetic was attached to a patient, the electrodes that the prostheticians inserted into the palm also acted as a kind of electrical contact that the patient could use to feel the prosthinges fingers.
After about a month of use, the hand had healed and the patient was able to move it.
As Dr. Gonzàlas explained, a plastic surgeon can remove the hand with the same amount of force as a surgeon would use to break a bone.
According to the authors, there is a wide range of possibilities with bioprecessing that may allow surgeons to tailor a prostheses treatment to the specific needs of their patients.
Dr Gonzáls team hopes to begin clinical trials in the next few years to see if bioprosthetic fingers can be used for other conditions such as multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.
The research is published in this month’s Journal of the American Medical Association.
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