A study conducted by a team of scientists and recently published on the Dovepress portal showed that it is possible to 3D print patient-specific, biodegradable medicinal implants to more effectively cure bone infections and bone cancer. That, however, is just the beginning of a story that is nothing short of amazing.
Not so much for the results of the study (which are extremely promising), as much as for the fact that this state of the art research in drug delivery methods was conducted primarily using a desktop MakerBot Replicator 2X 3D printer and a desktop ExtrusionBot filament extruder
The objective of the research was to “demonstrate that it is possible to create an antibiotic-eluting and chemotherapeutic-eluting filament that would maintain integrity throughout the extrusion and 3D printing process.” This filament would then be used to create drug-delivery discs, beads catheters, and other geometrical shapes capable of delivering the drug within a patient’s body and, then, dissolve naturally.
As medicinal compounds to test antibiotic effectiveness, the scientists used gentamicin sulfate (GS). This drug is used to cure osteomyelitis, a bone infection that can lead to death and amputation and is generally treated with local and systemic therapy, often requiring multiple surgical interventions. For chemiotherapeutic capabilities, they used methotrexate (MTX), a medicine for treating osteosarcoma, an aggressive and malignant cancerous bone tumor. … (read more)