The possibilities for 3-D printing are endless.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just gave a green light for the first prescription medication manufactured by 3D printing.
Now, Reuters is reporting a chicken in Massachusetts will have surgery Wednesday (August 5) to be fit with a prosthetic limb made from a 3-D printer in a landmark procedure. The prostethic limb is reportedly $2,500.
According to Reuters, the three-month old chicken named Cicely was born with a torn tendon in her right leg and when her owner, Andrea Martin of the Black Thistle Farm, took her to Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine to be examined last week, she was given using a prosthetic or euthanasia as her options.
"It was a no-brainer," Martin told Reuters in an interview. "She needs to be able to live a normal life."
The way the surgery will work is Cicely will have her right leg amputated, before a CT-scan is performed on the chicken's left leg to be used for a 3D-printed prosthetic limb. After two weeks of rest, the chicken will return to Tufts for her fitting.
The Black Thistle Farm, 45 miles west of Boston, actually specializes in chicken rehab and Martin even told Reuters that she once paid $3,000 for one of her chicken's hysterectomy procedure last year.
"Anytime you do surgery on a bird, it's a risk," she said. "But I am optimistic. I think this will make her very happy. It's worth it."
Dr. Emi Knafo, who will perform the procedure, says similar surgeries have been performed on other animals, but believes this will mark the first time it will be attempted on a chicken.