A team of engineers and medical researchers from the University of Minnesota (UMN) are working on creating Neural Scaffold that can help patients with spinal cord injury alleviate pain and gain control over functions like bladder, bowel, and muscle control again. The prototype contains 3D Printed Silicone Guide acts as a scaffold, over which neuronal stem cells are 3D Printed, which then later differentiate into neurons, and then it is implanted into the injured part of spinal cord.
Once a person suffers myocardial infarction or heart attack in local language, some part of heart is destroyed permanently at cellular level which cannot recover or regenerate. However, scientists have developed 3D printed cardiac patches that can be used to repair hearts damaged by heart attacks, but only about five have been produced worldwide. A group of researchers 3D printed a world-first stretchable microfiber scaffold with a hexagonal design to which added specialized stem cells called iPS-Cardiomyocytes, which began to contract unstimulated on the scaffold. The work has been demonstrated on the actual hearts of pigs and being planned for human trials.
A Chilean startup Copper3D had recently unveiled PLACTIVE, an antibacterial 3D printing filament designed for the production of medical devices such as prosthetics and braces. Taking interest in PLACTIVE, the NASA Nebraska Space Grant is working with the University of Nebraska Omaha and Copper3D on a study of PLACTIVE and states the new material has already passed very exhaustive laboratory tests with +99.99% elimination of most dangerous bacterial strains.
A team of researchers at University of Minnesota researchers are working on what they call “Bionic Eye” by Custom 3D Printing photoreceptors on a hemispherical surface. The process consumed hemispherical glass dome, silver particle base ink, semiconducting polymer materials and approximately one hour. With 25% efficiency, they are now planning to create prototypes that are even more efficient and could be worked upon for implantation into a real eye, thereby restoring or improving sight.
3D biotechnology company regenHU with Wako Automation combined to exploits the potential of cell-based therapies and 3D bioprinting to develop biomedical products for drug discovery and regenerative medicine. They will use their specialization of bioprinting solutions, laboratory automation and high content imaging for the same. They demonstrated their technologies at SLAS Conference in San Diego.
Researchers at A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP) at Nanyang Technological University have developed a way to create pigmentation in 3D printed skin by using bioprinting to control the distribution of melanin-producing skin cells, on a biomimetic tissue substrate. They used three different types of skin cells and drop on demand method of bioprinting to create the pigmented skin.
Researchers at Ghent University have developed a 3D bioprinted model of a scaffold from PLA that more accurately replicates the size, porosity and mechanical and biochemical properties of peritoneal metastasis to treat Cancer. Cancerous cells are then cultivated for testing after which they implanted their model in the peritoneal cavities of a mice to test its working in vivo.
Emerging Implant Technologies (EIT), a German company, famous for its Cellular Titanium technology, has received FDA clearance again, to expand their EIT Cellular Titanium Cervical Cage to be used in multiple contiguous cervical levels (C2 to T1) and this is the first multi-level 3D printed cervical cage to enter the US market. It is designed to be used with autogenous and/or allogenic bone grafts to facilitate fusion, and should be used with supplemental fixation.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow are using a chemical-to-digital converter to digitize the process of drug manufacturing to 3D print pharmaceuticals on demand. The digital code is used by the 3D printer to make a portable factory, which can make the drug by adding chemicals in a pre-defined, fail-safe sequence, making it possible for users to synthesize nearly any compound.
Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) is a semi-permeable that protects brain from direct contact with damaging entities in body. Until now, animals have been used to test drugs that cross BBB, but now researchers are capable of reproducing the microcapillaries of neurovascular system on 1:1 scale using 3D Printing technology. Carried out by Gianni Ciofani, Associate Professor at Polytechnic University of Torino, the mimicked BBB is important for developing pharmaceuticals that can cross boundary as there currently exist drug compounds that demonstrate great potential for addressing brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.
A group of researchers from Japan’s Osaka University have developed a new bioprinting ink using a method based on hydrogelation mediated by horseradish peroxidase, an enzyme that can create cross-links between phenyl groups of an added polymer in the presence of the oxidant hydrogen peroxide. This bioprinting ink will be better substitute of Sodium Alginate as it will allow 3D Printing of more variety of scaffolds.
Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) Inc., a Connecticut based firm has stated that their 3D Printed Structures with PEKK (poly-ether-ketone-ketone) formulation have high anti-bacterial properties than the usual PEEK (poly-ether-ether-ketone). The study involved Mian Wang and Garima Bhardwaj with Northeastern University in Boston, who examined the 3D Printed PEKK produced using OsteoFab process, and therefore concluded PEKK was more efficient against infections in orthopedic applications.