At first glance, the apparatus that is metallic nearly looks like a high tech bike pedal. Or perhaps the latest cooking gadget for zesting lemons. Or, maybe, it’s a secret weapon for X-Men superhero Wolverine.
But look again.
Doctors in Spain say this is the world’s first 3 D- printed rib cage, made entirely from titanium. And they’ve already implanted the device into the chest of a 54-year old cancer patient. The man lost sections and his sternum of four ribs when doctors removed a large tumour.
The perforated centre section of the implant is the prosthetic sternum. Ribs are mimiced by four thin poles on the left. They’re flexible and thin to allow them to bend during breathing. The eight clamps on either side attach the implant.