The new technique for 3D printing medical implants breaks the mold

The new technique for 3D printing medical implants breaks the mold ...

The structure was created with the NEST3D technique. The development of new technologies for regrowing bones and tissue has been advanced by researchers who have flipped traditional 3D printing to create some of the most intricate biomedical structures yet. The field of tissue engineering hopes to harness the human body's natural ability to heal itself, to rebuild bone and muscle lost to tumors or injuries. 3D printed scaffolds can be used in the body to support regrowth of cells. Making these structures small and complex is a significant challenge. A research team from RMIT University collaborated with clinicians from St.Vincent's Hospital in Australia to change the way 3D printing is done. Instead of making the bioscaffolds directly, the team 3D printed molds with intricately-patterned cavities then filled them with biocompatible materials before dissolving the molds away. The team used the indirect approach to create bioscaffolds full of elaborate structures that were considered impossible with standard 3D printers. The new biofabrication method was cost-effective and easy to scale because it relied on widely available technology, according to the lead researcher. The shapes you can make with a standard 3D printer are constrained by the size of the printing nozzle and ultimately that influences how small you can print, according to O'Connell. The gaps between the printed material can be much smaller and more intricate. By flipping our thinking, we draw the structure we want in the empty space inside our 3D printed mold. This allows us to make small, complex structures where cells will thrive. Other approaches were able to create impressive structures, but only with specially-tailored materials or modified with special chemistry. He said that their technique was versatile enough to use medical grade materials off-the-shelf. It is extraordinary to create such complex shapes with a basic high school grade 3D printer. That lowers the bar for entry into the field, and brings us a significant step closer to making tissue engineering a medical reality. The research was conducted at the BioFab3D@ACMD, a state-of-the-art bioengineering research, education and training hub. The study shows the possibilities when clinicians, engineers and scientists come together to solve a problem. The inability to access technological experimental solutions for the problems they face is a common problem faced by clinicians. The best professional to recognize a problem and think about potential solutions is a clinician, while biomedical engineers can turn that idea into reality. Learning how to speak a common language across engineering and medicine is an initial barrier, but once this is overcome, the possibilities are endless. Currently there are few treatment options for people who lose a significant amount of bone or tissue due to illness or injury, making amputation or metal implants to fill a gap common outcomes. While a few clinical trials of tissue engineering have been conducted around the world, key bioengineering challenges still need to be addressed for 3D bioprinting technology to become a standard part of a surgeon's toolkit The development of a bioscaffold that works across both bone and cartilage is one of the major sticking points in orthopedics. O'Connell said that their new method was so precise that they were creating specialized bone and cartilage-growing microstructures in a single bioscaffold. One integrated scaffold that supports both types of cells is the ideal way to recreate the way the body works. bioscaffolds built using the new method are safe and non-toxic, according to tests with human cells. The researchers will be testing designs to maximize cell regeneration and investigate the impact on cell regrowth of different combinations of biocompatible materials. How to reverse print a bioscaffold using a new method of 3D printing. After the mold has set, the entire structure is placed in water to destroy the glue, leaving just the cell-nurturing bioscaffold. The method enabled researchers to quickly test combinations of materials to identify those most effective for cell growth, according to the study's first author. The technique's flexibility is the advantage. Dozens of trial bioscaffolds can be produced in a variety of materials without the need for specialized equipment. We are able to produce 3D structures that can be just 200 microns across, the width of 4 human hairs, and with complexity that rivals that achieved by light-based fabrication techniques. It could be a huge boost to tissue engineering research. There is a reference to "Printing between the lines: Intricate Biomaterial Structures Fabricated via Negative Embodied Sacrificial template 3D (NEST3D) Printing" in Advanced Materials Technology. The press release is provided by RMIT Univesity.

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