OU graduate student develops award-winning 3D implant for TMJ sufferers


The original story included an incorrect spelling of the student’s name. That error has been corrected.

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – An OU student is finding great success using a 3D printer to develop medical products that can change lives.

“One of the many things we take for granted is how easy it is to talk, to yawn, to laugh,” said Ali Rassi. 

Ali Rassi, courtesy of University of Oklahoma

In a three-minute presentation, Rassi, a graduate student in OU’s school of Industrial and systems engineering, shows how this tiny implant could greatly help those suffering from TMJ. 

It’s a development that started with his love for 3D printers.

“You could see something become something out of nothing,” Rassi said

The implant is designed to dissolve over time as the body rebuilds.

Rassi hopes this leads to bigger things – literally.

“I thought this could be a really good starting point because compared to hip joints or shoulder joints, this is a relatively smaller joint,” said Rassi. 

Implant graphic, courtesy of University of Oklahoma

After graduation, he plans to make a career of this – transforming the medical industry.

“There are companies that I think are really quite impactful in terms of things are becoming so much cheaper and accessible,” Rassi said. 

Rassi won the University’s three-minute thesis contest as well as a regional contest, earning thousands of dollars in scholarship money. 

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