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.
A research team with the University of Alberta in Canada has been working on using the 4D Printing to create 3D Printed Organs for transplant in patients. They are working on 3D Printed resins and believe that the human body would most likely accept a hydrogel organ. The team is currently working on 3D Printing meniscus, or the knee cap that can help surgeons perform surgeries faster and much efficiently.
Startup BIOLIFE4D has filed a $50 million initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Regulation A+ rules for their project of 3D Bioprinting a Real Heart for transplants. Curerntly seeking investors, BIOLIFE4D plans to use recent breakthroughs in 3D printing, regenerative medicine, stem cell biology and computing techniques to create patient-specific replacement hearts from the patient’s own cells, eliminating both long waiting lists and risks of rejection.
Hailey Dawson, a 7-year old girl from Las Vegas was born with Poland syndrome, a rare birth defect that resulted in her being born without the three middle fingers on her right hand. Her mother was determined to help her, and soon she received a variation of Flexi Hand 2, a 3D Printed Prosthetic Hand from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). As her story went viral, she has now been invited to throw the first pitch of World Series Game.
One roadblock to 3D printing complete, functional organs lies in our inability to ensure the engineered tissue will be well nourished with an accessible blood supply. Presently we have seen attempts at recreating arteries and veins, but successfully ensuring blood flow deep into tissue to the level of the capillary beds has proven elusive. A group of bioengineers and clinicians have pioneered a technique allowing them to print a fibrin patch containing organized endothelial cells, the cellular linining of blood vessels. Not only did the printed patch enhance blood vessel formation, but the engineered vascular tissue actually integrated with the host's own vasculature, improving tissue perfusion of damaged tissues. This research provides a novel technique that may permit printing of larger blocks of tissue and even organs.
The face of an ancient female Egyptian mummy has been reconstructed with the help of 3D printing and forensic science techniques, an important step to better understand who she was. This reconstruction was only made possible due to the work of a multi-disciplinary team led by scientists at Melbourne University, combining medical research, forensic science, computerised tomographic (CT) scanning, 3D printing, Egyptology and art.
Two professors at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, Guillermo Ameer and Cheng Sun, have developed a method of 3D printing patient-specific vascular stents that are both flexible and biodegradable. These 3D printed stents can be pre-loaded with drugs that are released at site of implant, shortening the healing process in the walls of blood vessels. Meanwhile the unique polymer material allows the stent to exercise its mechanical function during the vessel’s initial dilation but slowly dissolve as the re-opened blood vessel recovers.
A 3D printed claw to explore Mars has been created by scientists ... inspired by the humble sea urchin's teeth. The device could be used to sample rocks from the Red Planet and other mysterious world's thanks to the spiny creature's extraordinary mouth.
Anecdotal evidence had suggested that high-impact activities, such as roller coaster riding or bungee jumping, could result in spontaneous passage of kidney stones, however 3D printing has now been used to validate the efficacy of a trip to Magic Mountain next time you suffer from kidney stones. A study was conducted at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine where Dr. David D. Wartinger performed research on whether roller coaster rides can actually facilitate kidney stone passage. A 3D replica of a patient’s kidney was printed in clear silicone material and then was monitored with ureteroscopy during a roller coaster ride. The results verified that roller coaster rides can assist kidney stone passage.