Description This is a photograph of a human spine section, but these bones were 3D printed. This printed spine is smaller than in real life, but it is made almost entirely of the same mineral found in our bones (called hydroxyapatite). While we think of our bones as hard, here the same material is flexible and even elastic. This flexibility makes it easier and safer for surgeons to implant, and easier and faster for patients to heal. This new bone material -- called Hyperelastic Bone -- can help the body rapidly repair and regenerate damaged or missing bone.
These images stem from cutting-edge research on campus, winning our annual Scientific Images Contest which goes on display in galleries across Chicago.
Through partnerships with schools and community groups, we train Northwestern researchers to share their expertise and creativity in a community centered way. Sales from these images goes to support our education and outreach activities, connecting researchers to the wider community.