Medical AM: after the tried and true, here comes the weird (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #131)

The medical field is one of the largest adopters of AM technologies. However, it’s also one of the toughest to introduce new products into, due to high standards regulations. We’ve seen customized splints, hip replacements, surgical equipment, and doctors aren’t quite done yet. There are lots of commonplace medical items to analyze and redesign through AM like, for example, bespoke heart valves that could help deal with upcoming shortages. Now that AM has claimed its place within the medical toolset, more advanced and exotic applications are being explored with greater confidence. Breast implant reconstruction scaffolds printed with biocompatible materials all the way to swarms of drug-delivering micro-bots and bioprinting research. It’s been a long road to get here, but the doors are now more open than ever.

3D printing could meet rising demand for heart valves

artificial heart valves

If Swiss researchers have their way, artificial heart valves could simply come out of 3D printers in future. Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), along with South African company Straight Access Technologies (SAT) has developed a silicone replacement for the heart valves used today. However, it will take at least ten years before the custom-made artificial heart valves can be used.

Read more at SWI.

This startup is 3D printing breast implants for cancer survivors

Lattice Medical showcases the intricate forms that can be 3Dprinted.

[Lattice Medical] creates 3D-printed breast implants which, unlike common silicone implants, dissolve into the body after a year. But the real magic is that in that time the company has a method for regrowing the natural breast tissue so that patients are ultimately left with natural breasts after just a single operation.

Keep reading on Sifted.

Georgia Tech Aims To Scale Micro 3D Printing And Produce Ant Robot Army

Georgia Tech's micro-bristle-bots, penny for scale. Photo via Georgia Tech

Barely visible to the human eye, a breed of microscopic 3D printed robots has been developed at Georgia Institute of Technology. Deemed “micro-bristle-bots” the devices can be be controlled by minute vibrations, making them capable of transporting materials, and detecting changes in the environment. Working together, like ants, the robots’ potential multiplies, unlocking a range of varied applications along the boundaries of mechanics, electronics, biology and physics. The Georgia Tech team is now looking at ways to scale-up the micro 3D printing method used to make the bots, and produce “hundreds or thousands” of the devices in a single build.

Read the full article here.

 

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Breaking barriers in Medical through 3D Printing (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #123)

Customization options alone make 3D printing a natural fit for the medical sector. Now, the medical industry is embracing 3D printing in a number of even more exciting ways. The new approach that the technology provides to design and manufacture is laden with opportunities to improve upon established practices or to make entirely new ones possible. Just thinking of bioprinting a cornea to enable scarless healing of wounds in the eye may seem far-fetched, but it’s only one of the exciting realities of today. The risk of implant rejection by the body is close to being eliminated thanks to stem cells technologies or smart materials designed to dissolve once their scaffolding purpose has run its course. Looking at the horizon, 3D printing is the only feasible solution when it comes to addressing medical emergencies in space: astronauts won’t need to cross their fingers that their highly specialized medical tool came up on the latest rocket carrying supplies, but rather just instructs the in-situ printer to make it on the spot.

3D Printed Cornea Tissue Aims To Tackle Blindness

A 3D Bioprinted Cornea Stromal Lenticule. Photo via Pandorum Technologies Pvt.

Pandorum Technologies Pvt., a Bangalore-based biotechnology company, has used 3D bioprinted cornea tissue to promote scarless healing of wounds in the eye. In collaboration with India’s LV Prasad Eye Institute, the company created a bio-inspired corneal ink dubbed as ‘Liquid Cornea’ to 3D bioprint corneal lenticule – a disc-shaped piece of corneal tissue which can also be manufactured with synthetic materials. This is implanted into or on top of the human eye to treat visual impairment due to corneal defect.

Read the rest of the article here.

This startup is 3D printing breast implants for cancer survivors

Lattice Medical showcases the intricate forms that can be 3Dprinted.

[Lattice Medical] creates 3D-printed breast implants which, unlike common silicone implants, dissolve into the body after a year. But the real magic is that in that time the company has a method for regrowing the natural breast tissue so that patients are ultimately left with natural breasts after just a single operation.

Read the full article here.

3D printing medical devices in space

Astronauts face serious health issues, including hand injuries and risk of infection, during long duration space missions far from earth. Chile-based Copper 3D has received funding from NASA to test a new, 3D printing-based approach adapted for the unique space environment.

Keep reading at MedicalDevices Network.

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