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Meet the Bionic Girl: How 3D Printing Could Lead to New Limbs for Kids


The world's first clinical trial of 3D-printed bionic hands for child amputees starts this week in Bristol, England. 

They are developed by a South Gloucestershire company that launched four years ago. 

If the trial proves to be successful, the hands will be available through the National Health Service, which is the publicly funded national healthcare system for the UK. 

The BBC reports 11-year-old Tilly Lockey already has some experience with the new development. 

At a mere 15 months old, back in 2007, she contracted meningitis B. Within hours of falling sick she developed bruises all over her body, caused by blood poisoning. 

Her mother says that for four days they did not know if she was going to live. She needed ten blood transfusions. 

Tilly ended up losing both of her hands and toes, but later was given bionic limbs. 

Today the 11-year-old is making big strides, thanks to the growing industry that creates state of the art, 3D-printed, robotic limbs. 


Tilly is involved in the trial of a prototype robotic arm that could reportedly lead to a new generation of artificial limbs. 

She says she likes that people think her new robotic arm is "cool." 


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