Researchers at RMIT University have revolutionized the approach to traditional 3D printing to create some of the most complex biomedical structures for bone and tissue repair. Writes about this Advanced Materials Technologies.
The new field of tissue engineering is aimed at using the natural ability of the human body to heal itself, to restore bones and muscles lost due to tumors or injuries.
A key focus of biomedical engineers has been the design and development of 3D printed scaffolds that can be implanted into the body to support cell regrowth. But making these structures small and complex enough for cells to develop normally remains a major challenge.
Instead of making bioscaffolds directly, the team 3D printed shapes with intricate cavities and then filled them with biocompatible materials. Using an indirect approach, the team created fingernail-sized biolocations filled with intricate structures that were previously thought to be impossible. standard 3D printers.
Lead researcher Dr. Catal O’Connell said the new biotechnology method was cost-effective and scalable because it relied on widely available technologies.
“The shapes you can create with a standard 3D printer are limited by the size of the print nozzle – the hole has to be big enough to allow the material to pass through, and ultimately that affects how small you can print,” said O ‘Connell. “But the gaps between printed materials can be much smaller and much more complex. Therefore, we are essentially drawing the desired structure in the empty space inside our 3D printing plate. This allows us to create tiny, complex microstructures in which cells will thrive. ”