Researchers at Washington State University have developed a 3D printer that can be used to scan broken bones and create "bone-like material" which can be fitted to the damaged bone.
The researchers said that this material can act as a scaffold for new bone cells to grow and once the bone repairs itself, the material will dissolve away without any ill effects.
According to the report published in the journal Dental Materials, the researchers revealed that they have already tested the material successfully in rats and rabbits.
"You can use the bone-like ceramic powder as a feed material and it can make whatever you draw on the computer. It is mostly [suitable for] low load bearing applications. However, what we are trying to develop is the controlled degradation... of these scaffolds where as the scaffold dissolves in the body the bone tissue grows over it", lead researcher Prof Susmita Bose said.