New method for 3D printing biological samples enables faster, cheaper models for research & diagnosis

3D printing biological samples

New method for 3D printing biological samples enables faster, cheaper models for research & diagnosis

What if you could hold a physical model of your own brain in your hands, accurate down to its every unique fold? That’s just a normal part of life for Steven Keating, Ph.D., who had a baseball-sized tumor removed from his brain at age 26 while he was a graduate student in the MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter group. Curious to see what his brain actually looked like before the tumor was removed, and with the goal of better understanding his diagnosis and treatment options, Keating collected his medical data and began 3D printing his MRI and CT scans, but was frustrated that existing methods were prohibitively time-intensive, cumbersome, and failed to accurately reveal important features of interest. Keating reached out to some of his group’s collaborators, including members of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, who were exploring a new method for 3D printing biological samples. Continue reading “New method for 3D printing biological samples enables faster, cheaper models for research & diagnosis”

Research on the benefits of 3D printing in Dutch trauma hospital (Video)

3D printing

3D printing is seeing increasingly widespread adoption in the medical field, with numerous examples of applications that help surgeons accurately plan cosmetic surgery. Now, the potential of 3D printing is being examined by hospitals treating patients who are fighting for their life.

The ETZ (Elisabeth-TweeSteden Ziekenhuis) is one of the eleven trauma centers in the Netherlands. As the only center in the country with trauma surgeons on location 24 hours a day, it serves as the main location for emergency patients in North Brabant. 3D printing has already been used to visualize bone fractures, but pioneering researchers believe it can also be used to help treat trauma patients.

Mike Bemelman, MD, trauma surgeon at the ETZ, had already seen the potential of 3D printing back in 2016. Together with Lars Brouwers, MD, PhD-candidate, and Koen Lansink, MD, trauma surgeon, they have started conducting research into the benefits and effectiveness of 3D printing, compared to traditional and other new technologies. Their idea is to 3D print scanned bone fractures in order to give both surgeons and patients a clear understanding of each situation, before operating. Continue reading “Research on the benefits of 3D printing in Dutch trauma hospital (Video)”

New 4D Printing technique developed by TU Delft researchers has potential to improve bone implants (video)

4D Printing technique

New 4D Printing technique developed by TU Delft researchers has potential to improve bone implants

Researchers at TU Delft have combined origami techniques and 3D printing to create flat structures that can fold themselves into 3D structures (for example a tulip). The structures self-fold according to a pre-planned sequence, with some parts folding sooner than others. Usually, expensive printers and special materials are needed for that. But the TU Delft scientists have created a new technique that requires only a common 3D printer and ubiquitous material. Among other applications, their research has the potential to greatly improve bone implants.

In recent years, Amir Zadpoor of TU Delft has become somewhat of an origami master. His team’s work combines the traditional Japanese paper folding art with the more novel technology of 3D printing in order to create constructs that can self-roll, self-twist, self-wrinkle and self-fold into a variety of 3D structures. In 2016, the researchers already demonstrated several self-folding objects. ‘But there were still serious challenges we needed to address’, says Zadpoor. Continue reading “New 4D Printing technique developed by TU Delft researchers has potential to improve bone implants (video)”

Researchers are 3D printing replica human vertebrae to help in surgery room (Video)

replica human vertebrae

Researchers are 3D printing replica human vertebrae to help in surgery room

A project led by Nottingham Trent University aims to give trainee surgeons the “tacit knowledge” of how it feels to partly remove or drill into vertebrae before undertaking procedures on patients.

The models – which are created using powder printing technology to help achieve a lifelike porosity of real bone – feature hard outer layers and a softer centre.

“Consultants undertaking delicate and precise procedures like spinal surgery need as much knowledge and experience as possible as part of their surgical training before going into live operations,” said Professor Philip Breedon, of the university’s Design for Health and Wellbeing Group.

“One error can lead to catastrophic, life-changing consequences for a patient, so it’s imperative that surgeons can prepare themselves thoroughly. Continue reading “Researchers are 3D printing replica human vertebrae to help in surgery room (Video)”

Brave new world of 3D printed organs now includes implanted ovary structures (Video)

3D printed organs

The brave new world of 3D printed organs now includes implanted ovary structures that, true to their design, actually ovulate, according to a study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering.

By removing a female mouse’s ovary and replacing it with a bioprosthetic ovary, the mouse was able to not only ovulate but also give birth to healthy pups. The moms were even able to nurse their young.

The bioprosthetic ovaries are constructed of 3-D printed scaffolds that house immature eggs, and have been successful in boosting hormone production and restoring fertility in mice, which was the ultimate goal of the research. Continue reading “Brave new world of 3D printed organs now includes implanted ovary structures (Video)”

Australian Researchers Use Handheld 3D Printing Pen to Draw New Cells Directly onto Bone

In a landmark proof-of-concept experiment, Australian researchers have used a handheld 3D printing pen to ‘draw’ human stem cells in freeform patterns with extremely high survival rates.

The device, developed out of collaboration between ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) researchers and orthopaedic surgeons at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, is designed to allow surgeons to sculpt customised cartilage implants during surgery. Continue reading “Australian Researchers Use Handheld 3D Printing Pen to Draw New Cells Directly onto Bone”

Startup Pembient Uses 3D Bioprinting to Make Rhino Ivory Without Killing Rhinos

When talking about 3D bioprinting, images of laboratories where blood vessels, human bones and even organs are being grown in futuristic machines are almost immediately conjured up. But one San Francisco-based startup called Pembientis taking this groundbreaking technology into a different, but equally important, direction. Continue reading “Startup Pembient Uses 3D Bioprinting to Make Rhino Ivory Without Killing Rhinos”