3D-printed synthetic bone from CU Denver forms a resilient lattice structure by means of digital light processing.


  • Efficient
  • Durable
  • Resilient


  • Armor and protection
  • Medical implants
  • Regenerative medicine

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

The Challenge

Prosthetics and other medical implants are made to mimic the organs they replace. Although molds and printing techniques  create the desired exterior shapes, prosthetics lack micro-scale structures that behaves as a real limb does, possibly restricting movements or causing safety issues.

Innovation Details

The synthetic bone is 3D-printed, porous lattice structure made of liquid crystal elastomers. The structure is formed through a process called digital light processing. When light hits the liquid crystal resin, the resin cures, forming new bonds. The final cured resin becomes a soft yet durable elastomer. The material can be designed to mimic the exact bone structure of a human needing an implant.