When a sea turtle’s jaw was injured in a boating collision off the coast of Turkey, it was unlikely that it would ever be able to eat on its own again, much less return to the wild.
However, due to a collaboration between the biotechnology company BTech Innovation and Pamukkale University’s Sea Turtle Research, Rescue, and Rehabilitation Centre, the turtle has been outfitted with a 3D printed prosthetic jaw.
While 3D printers have been used to create prosthetic limbs for injured pets, this may be the first 3D jaw produced for a wild species. It also underscores a shift in veterinary care as the technology for 3D printing becomes cheap enough to make manufacturing prosthetic limbs for animals economically feasible. While the printer and software cost about $13,000, the models themselves cost only a few dollars. READ MORE.