3D-printing medical implants

3D-printing non-toxic biocompatible medical implants

scaffold_for_tissue_engineering

A common vitamin now allows researchers to create finely-detailed, biocompatible structures, such as this scaffold for tissue engineering (credit: Regenerative Medicine)

A common vitamin — riboflavin (vitamin B2) — has made it possible to 3D-print non-toxic medical implants, researchers from North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Laser Zentrum Hannover have discovered.

“This opens the door to a much wider range of biocompatible implant materials, which can be used to develop customized implant designs using 3-D printing technology,” says Dr. Roger Narayan, senior author of a paper describing the work and a professor in the joint biomedical engineering department at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Using light to create create implants

The researchers in this study focused on a 3-D printing technique called two-photon polymerization, because this technique can be used to create small objects with detailed features — such as scaffolds for tissue engineering, microneedles, or other implantable drug-delivery devices.

Two-photon polymerization is a 3-D printing technique for making small-scale solid structures from many types of photoreactive liquid precursors. The liquid precursors contain chemicals that react to light, turning the liquid into a solid polymer. By exposing the liquid precursor to targeted amounts of light, the technique allows users to “print” 3-D objects.

via 3D-printing non-toxic biocompatible medical implants | KurzweilAI.

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