Anyone who has ever broken a bone will tell you that it is one of the most annoying and painful experiences ever. As if breaking a bone wasn’t enough, traditional casts are bulky monstrosities that are a pain the neck, cost no amount of itching and make for blank canvasses for your friends to doodle embarrassing things in. yes, breaking bones and getting them fixed is all sorts of trouble but that may all soon change with the introduction of the Cortex Cast.
What Is the Cortex Cast?
This cast was the brainchild of one Jake Evill from New Zealand who broke his hand “rescuing” his friend from a fight and was saddled with a plaster cast for several months. He was very unpleasantly surprised to discover just how cumbersome his cast was and came to the conclusion that with all the medical and technological advances made today, wrapping broken bones on pounds and pounds of plaster that was caused itching and stunk to the high heavens as still the norm. He tried looking for an alternative and after finding out that there was none, he actually set out to make his own design and this was how the Cortex Cast came to be.
He began by doing some research by checking the human bone structure and got his inspiration from the trabecular. These tiny lattice-shaped structures that make up the inner tissues of the human bone seemed like the perfect things to base his design on. He decided that nature had the bets answers and he was going to copy what it has already perfected. He says the natural shape of the cast makes it very strong. Although it is light, it does a great job of protecting the bone.
To make the Cortex Cast, the patient’s fractured bone would be scanned so a computer can come up with the best pattern for it. A 3d printer will be used to produce the cast and denser materials will be used in places where the fracture needs the most support. According to Jerry Evil, the current prototype of the Cortex Cast was made using a rigged 3D printer and Kinect that he hacked with some help from Shapeways located in the Netherlands.
He also admits that his invention is still in the development stage but it is garnering quite the buzz and is proving to be very promising. If all goes well, this Cortex Cast will probably be the future for people who suffer from broken bones.