A 3D printer is being used to create "bone-like" material which researchers claim can be used to repair injuries.
The engineers say the substance can be added to damaged natural bone where it acts as a scaffold for new cells to grow.
It ultimately dissolves with "no apparent ill-effects", the team adds.
The researchers say doctors should be able to use the process to custom-order replacement bone tissue in a few years time.
Prof Susmita Bose helped carry out the work at Washington State University and co-authored a report in the Dental Materials journal.
"You can use the bone-like ceramic powder as a feed material and it can make whatever you draw on the computer," she says.
"It is mostly [suitable for] low load bearing applications. However, what we are trying to develop is the
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