This is the 3-D printed thermoplastic skull recently transplanted on a 22-year old woman's head who has a condition that prevents her regular skull from ever stop growing thicker. So they cut the top off of that one and replaced it with a 3D-printed implant made of polyetherketoneketone(PEKK, a thermoplastic). Watch a video of the process, and a shot of the skull after transplant.
"The skull, made by an Australian firm, is actually fairly transparent. Lots of plastics can be transparent -- acrylics, polycarbonates, etc. -- but the stringent medical requirements, and also print requirements, place limits on the possible. While the transparency may be incidental, the picture above shows the clear advantage of such transparency: one can see the underlying brain and vasculature. Not only is this a nice feedback to see how things are going macroscopically, it also entices with potential to optically image activity in the brain like never before."
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