Science: Health: Artificial Limbs
Replacement Limbs   (+1, -1)  [vote for, against]

Use some MRI scan/electron microscope thing with sufficient resolution to map the structure of a bone to create a plan of the bone (a single example that could be scaled up/down should be sufficient). Use *very* good CNC to build up the bone with an appropriate calcium+etc (collagen?) 'cement'. Use method linked below to create blood vessels surrounded by muscle tissue, possibly nerves as well. Graft skin on top and attach to patient.

N.B. very long expensive procedure. Major problem is creating and lining up nervous system with existing system.
-- chud, Jul 09 2002

circulatory system
[chud, Jul 09 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Just like in Fifth Element, right?

(Can't see link - you need a subscription.)
-- DrCurry, Jul 09 2002

The process in the link is basically taking a cast of the blood vessels (being researched with liver) and using a 3d computer model of the cast to build a framework out of layers of porous plastic. The plastic is seeded with appropriate cells and the cavities are injected with blood vessel lining cells. The whole lot is bathed in nutrient solution to grow while the plastic is slowly dissolved. They were having big problems with keeping it sterile.
-- chud, Jul 10 2002

//They were having big problems with keeping it sterile.// Nothing like an artificial limb leaking sperm
-- thumbwax, Jul 10 2002

I found out this is part baked today. I was at an open day at coventry and the guy who runs the rapid-prototyping machines said he made replacement bones using the plastic framework method.
-- chud, Oct 25 2003

Assuming the patient's bone is damaged who's would you scan with your // MRI scan/electron microscope thing //? Why don't we just get modified backteria to repair the existing bone? they could be placed here and there with the duty of destroying any "real" infection? This (for minor injuries) would present problems only where the imune system is concerned - but your's raises many more - including that (although if you could get it to work then it would be much more useful)
-- Ossalisc, Oct 26 2003

random, halfbakery