Researchers create 3D printed stem cell-infused scaffolds for spinal cord repair

3D printed stem cell

Researchers create 3D printed stem cell-infused scaffolds for spinal cord repair

University of Minnesota researchers have broken new ground in the rapidly advancing field of 3-D printing: creating stem cell-infused scaffolds that could be implanted in spinal cords to repair nerve damage.

The technology has existed for years to print plastic implants containing live cells. But the challenge was to do so in a way that would allow sensitive “neuronal” stem cells to survive the printing process so they can repair nerve damage after transplant. Continue reading “Researchers create 3D printed stem cell-infused scaffolds for spinal cord repair”

Portable 3D skin printer to heal deep wounds, developed by University of Toronto researchers

3D skin printer

Portable 3D skin printer to heal deep wounds, developed by University of Toronto researchers

University of Toronto researchers have developed a handheld 3D skin printer that deposits even layers of skin tissue to cover and heal deep wounds. The team believes it to be the first device that forms tissue in situ, depositing and setting in place, within two minutes or less.

The research, led by PhD student Navid Hakimi under the supervision of Associate Professor Axel Guenther of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, and in collaboration with Dr. Marc Jeschke, director of the Ross Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital and professor of immunology at the Faculty of Medicine, was recently published in the journal Lab on a Chip.

For patients with deep skin wounds, all three skin layers – the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis – may be heavily damaged. The current preferred treatment is called split-thickness skin grafting, where healthy donor skin is grafted onto the surface epidermis and part of the underlying dermis. Continue reading “Portable 3D skin printer to heal deep wounds, developed by University of Toronto researchers”

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)”

ETH researchers develop silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart (Video)

silicone heart

ETH researchers from the Functional Materials Laboratory have developed a silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart. In collaboration with colleagues from the Product Development Group Zurich, they have tested how well it works.

It looks like a real heart. And this is the goal of the first entirely soft artificial heart: to mimic its natural model as closely as possible. The silicone heart has been developed by Nicholas Cohrs, a doctoral student in the group led by Wendelin Stark, Professor of Functional Materials Engineering at ETH Zurich. The reasoning why nature should be used as a model is clear. Currently used blood pumps have many disadvantages: their mechanical parts are susceptible to complications while the patient lacks a physiological pulse, which is assumed to have some consequences for the patient. Continue reading “ETH researchers develop silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart (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)”

GE Healthcare opens first 3D Printing lab

GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare opens first 3D Printing lab

GE Healthcare has opened its first 3D printing lab, called the Innovative Design and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center for Europe, in Uppsala, Sweden. The center will use technologies including 3D printing and robotics to speed up the launch of new innovative products for the healthcare industry.

The center combines advanced manufacturing technology such as metal and polymer printers and collaborative robots, or “cobots”, with traditional machining equipment. A key in realizing the advantages of 3D printing is ensuring the technology is considered at the start of the innovation process with Research and Design teams working with advanced manufacturing engineers and in collaboration with customers. The new center in Uppsala will ensure additive expertise is available from the start of product design. Teams will design, test and produce 3D-printed parts for GE Healthcare products and prepare for final transfer to manufacturing. Continue reading “GE Healthcare opens first 3D Printing lab”

VTT Finland is developing 3D technology for wound care

3D technology

VTT Finland is developing 3D technology for wound care

Cellulose nanofibrils have properties that can improve the characteristics of bio-based 3D-printing pastes. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing a 3D wound care product for monitoring wound condition in hospital care. However, the first commercial nanocellulose applications will be seen in indoor decoration elements, textiles and the production of mock-ups.

3D printing has proven to be an efficient manufacturing method for complex, customised and light structures. In addition to thermoplastics, 3D printing materials include metals, ceramics and foodstuffs. The range of biomaterials in 3D paste printing is still fairly limited, since pastes pose unique challenges: their structure must not collapse during printing and the objects manufactured must remain sufficiently strong, rigid or flexible after drying. In 3D biomaterial filaments, however, commercial products already exist. Continue reading “VTT Finland is developing 3D technology for wound care”

US researchers develop technology that can 3D print drugs on wide variety of surfaces (Video)

3D print drugs

US researchers develop technology that can 3D print drugs on wide variety of surfaces

A technology that can print pure, ultra-precise doses of drugs onto a wide variety of surfaces could one day enable on-site printing of custom-dosed medications at pharmacies, hospitals and other locations. Because the technique can print multiple medications into a single dose on a dissolvable strip, microneedle patch or other dosing device, it could make life easier for patients who today must take multiple medications every day. The work could also have important implications for the drug development process.

A team of University of Michigan researchers, in a study lead by materials science and engineering professor Max Shtein and U-M graduate researcher Olga Shalev, Continue reading “US researchers develop technology that can 3D print drugs on wide variety of surfaces (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)”