Peking University Third Hospital in Beijing is in the process of conducting human clinical trials with titanium 3D printed spinal inserts. "We started clinical trials on 3D printed implants late last year, and now we have used dozens of such implants for more than 50 patients," said Dr. Liu Zhongjun who is spearheading the project.Dr. Zhongjun, who has studied in the U.S., U.K., Canada and China, is Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic surgery and the Research Center of Spinal Surgery at Peking University. He specializes in the treatment of spinal disorders and is an advocate of 3D printing."3D printing technology has two very nice features: One, It can print specific structures; Two, it is capable of producing porous metal." Dr. Zhongjun explained, also stating that the new 3D printed titanium implants are superior to non-printed implants because their porous design allows the surrounding bone to meld with the implant; something that isn't possible with the technology currently in use. "In this aspect, 3D printed implants are more reliable than traditional ones," Dr. Zhongjun said. "In the past we used clinical titanium mesh, but with the growth of bone, titanium mesh could easily stick into the bone and cause collapse. 3D printed implants fit the bone completely. And as a result, not only the pressure on the bone is reduced, but it also allows the bone to grow into the implants."