The injured turtle was rescued by a team of Turkish workers who found the animal after being severely wounded in an accident that had ripped of a large part of the turtle’s beak.
The turtle was found in critical condition was brought back to life thanks to the 3D printing technology.
The rescue workers took the 99 pound reptile to the Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at Pamukkale University in Denizli where it was nursed back to health by the scientists who fed it by hand.
The researcher grew very fond of the animal and even gave it a name: Akut-3.
But in order for the turtle to regain its ability of feeding on its own, the research team at the rescue facility had to contact BTech, a Turkish company that creates medical prosthetics.
This was needed for replacing the damaged portion of the animal’s beak.
The team of scientists working for BTech examined CT scans of the loggerhead turtle brought in by the veterinarians who saved its life.
The scientists then managed to reconstruct the turtle’s beak using state-of-the-art 3D computer technology called “Mimics Innovation Suite”.
The engineers first tried to recreate the upper and lower parts of the animal’s jaw. Then they printed the parts using a special type of titanium that is medically approved.
The final stage of the procedure involved attaching the prosthetics to the turtle’s beak through surgical means.
According to the scientists who conducted the surgical procedure, the surgery was pretty difficult but they managed to attach the titanium beak on the injured turtle.
Akut-3 is now recovering from the difficult but successful operation and is currently on antibiotics to help it heal faster.
The rescue team from Pamukkale University said that the turtle will be released into the wild as soon as it’s completely healed.
Akut-3 is not the first animal that benefited from medical prosthetics created using 3D printing technology.
Roger Henry, a student from Colorado Technical University in Denver, helped Cleopatra, an injured turtle, by recreating a prosthetic shell.
The turtle had been found in critical condition, with its shell almost completely destroyed. The animal was discovered by a rescue team from Canyon Critters who said that the turtle was badly injured and susceptible to infection due to its broken shell.
Image Source: 3ders