AM, Enabler of Breakthroughs (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 33)

3D printing is opening doors for what were previously thought to be unfeasible projects, paving the way for breakthroughs in a wide variety of areas: The Cell3Dtor project, funded by the European Union, is aiming to bring to market solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), much more energy efficient and easily/cheaply manufacturable through 3D printing. Bioprinting is going further than medical implants, enabling tunable designs of biological matrixes to radically change drug testing. Graphene is also almost ready for mass-production as a new 3D printing method using Nickel and sugar makes it simple and efficient to produce.

Cell3Ditor uses ceramics 3D printing to improve production of energy efficient solid oxide fuel cells

A pioneering new project, Cell3Ditor, by the Catalan Energy Research Institute is now aiming to leverage ceramics 3D printing to help the environment more directly, with the production of new, more efficient solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Currently, manufacturing a SOFC requires more than 100 stages of production, with the different components being made separately and assembled with vitreous seals. This complexity greatly increases the costs of both production and initial investment, which is estimated at around € 4.8 million. 3D printing technology could change all this for the better, cutting down production time and costs as well as drastically simplifying the whole assembly process. 3D printing techniques also allow for an improved final product, as the cell could be made in one single piece.

Read the full article here.

Why Drug Testing May Be the Most Important Application of 3D Bioprinting

3D printed tissue is proving to be an effective means of testing new pharmaceuticals, meaning that drugs can be thoroughly assessed and brought to market more quickly, all without harming animal test subjects. A group of researchers from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) recently published a paper discussing the development of a new type of bioink that enables the 3D printing of cells and other biological materials as part of a single production process. You can access the paper, entitled “Mechanically Tunable Bioink for 3D Printing of Human Cells,” here.

Read the article at 3DPrint.

Scientists May Have Discovered a Sweet Way to Mass Produce Graphene

Image Credit: Tour Group/Rice University

Nanotechnologists from Rice University and China’s Tianjin University have come up with a way to make centimeter-sized objects of atomically thin graphene that’s pretty sweet. The method is simple, can be performed at room temperature, and only requires sugar and nickel in a process called “3D laser printing.” Due to the printing method, the scientists were able to control the shapes to the level of the pore and make them 99 percent air — retaining graphene’s lightness. This is a landmark for the “miracle material” — composed of a single atomic layer of hexagonally linked carbon — which has paradigm-shifting potential due to its high strength (200 times stronger than steel) and conductivity.

Read more about the landmark here.

 

See you next week for another News In Review! Our Twitter feed will keep you updated on the latest 3D printing/IIOT news as you wait.

 

Redifining Medical Customizability (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 07)

Hi all and welcome to week 6 of Authentise News-In-Review!

This week we are going to talk about customization for medical applications. AM’s freedom of design makes this one of technology’s core benefits, but nowhere is this more true than in the medical arena. We’ve long heard about custom prosthetics but it can go much further than that. Personalized medicine is taking giant steps to practicality thanks to AM and new “bioinks” are enabling new treatments that could mould to specific patients’ scenarios, like dodging intolerances or adding particular vitamin supplements. Laboratories can study diseases in custom made samples thanks to 3D printing’s power to change design, physical properties and materials on the designer’s whim.

Let’s dive in.

A new 3D bioink for PolyJet 3D printed pills

Researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a viable bioink for 3D printed pills.  In this study, Giovanny Acosta-Vélez, Chase Linsley, Madison Craig and Benjamin Wu favour the inkjet technique over other 3D printing technologies for its speed and ability to print at room temperature. The temperate environment ensures that active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) aren’t damaged in the process, and speed is of course preferable for mass production. The 3D printable bioink from UCL is made from hyaluronic acid – a key ingredient in skin, connective tissues and the nervous system. A photoinitator is added to the acid so that it solidifies when in contact with light. This mixture is used to fill preformed tablets displaying the properties of an atypical oral tablet.

Read the full article here.

Porous 3D printed scaffolds help Rice University scientists tackle bone cancer

Scientists at Rice University in Houston have used 3D printing to create porous, bone-like scaffolds that can be used to study bone cancer tumors. They found that the size and orientation of individual pores affected how cells proliferate in the absence of blood. According to bioengineer Antonios Mikos, the 3D printed polymer bone scaffold contains artificial pores that constrain the flow of fluid and apply shear stress to tumor cells […] The scientists believe that this model could be vital for finding out more about bone cancer and potential treatments: “We aim to develop tumor models that can capture the complexity of tumors in vitro and can be used for drug testing, thus providing a platform for drug development while reducing the associated cost,” Mikos said.

Read the full article here.

3D Printing the Future of Surgery

One of the most hotly anticipated areas for 3D printing to impact is medicine. A myriad of stories have appeared pointing to all manner of exciting innovations in the medical field. Sadly many of the “3D printed ear/nose/heart/ etc.” stories have been rather disingenuous or are at the very least very optimistic. To give you a more accurate view of the possibilities of 3D printing in medicine we’ll look at one particular area: surgery.

Read how AM is and will transform the surgical world on 3DPrint.

 

As always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to receive more news that don’t make the cut to the weekly report and come back next week for another News-In-Review!