3D Printed Guide Helps Repair Of Damaged Nerves (VIDEO)

Scientists at Sheffield University of have succeeded in using a 3D printed guide to help damaged nerves repair themselves. The team used the device to repair nerve damage in animal models and say the method could help treat many types of traumatic injury.

The University said the device – a nerve guidance conduit (NGC) – is a framework of tiny tubes that guide the damaged nerve ends towards each other so that they can repair naturally. Patients with nerve injuries can suffer complete loss of sensation in the damaged area and current methods of repairing nerve damage require surgery to suture or graft the nerve endings, a practice which often yields imperfect results.

According to the University, some NGCs are currently used in surgery but they can only be made using a limited range of materials and designs, making them suitable for a limited range of injuries.

The technique, developed in Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering, uses Computer Aided Design (CAD) to design the devices, which are then fabricated using laser direct writing, a form of 3D printing. The advantage of this is that it can be adapted for any type of nerve damage or even tailored to an individual patient. … (read more)

Source: TheEngineer.co.uk