Using a new 3D printing process, University of Nottingham researchers have discovered how to tailor-make artificial body parts and other medical devices with built-in functionality that offers better shape and durability, while cutting the risk of bacterial infection at the same time.
Study lead, Dr Yinfeng He, from the Centre for Additive Manufacturing, said: “Most mass-produced medical devices fail to completely meet the unique and complex needs of their users. Similarly, single-material 3D printing methods have design limitations that cannot produce a bespoke device with multiple biological or mechanical functions.
“But for the first time, using a computer-aided, multi-material 3D-print technique, we demonstrate it is possible to combine complex functions within one customised healthcare device to enhance patient wellbeing.” The hope is that the innovative design process can be applied to 3D-print any medical device that needs customisable shapes and functions. For example, the method could be adapted to create a highly-bespoke one-piece prosthetic limb or joint to replace a lost finger or leg that can fit the patient perfectly to improve their comfort and the prosthetic’s durability; or to print customised pills containing multiple drugs – known as polypills – optimised to release into the body in a […]
Above: PepsiCo food, snack, and beverage product line-up/Source: PepsiCo PepsiCo turned to tooling with 3D printing...