3D Printing as a technology is gaining traction due to the fact that the products it creates can be customized to serve the needs of the person using it. It is for this reason that 3D Printed Medical Devices are gaining popularity all over the world.
But the problem with these medical devices is, that, most of these devices come in standard sizes, while the people that use them vary widely in their shape and size.
These differences can decide the difference between life and death for patients who are so sick, that their body can’t afford any room for error.
To help make this process of medical 3D printing more safe and efficient, researchers at Northeastern University are developing a 3D printing technology which will let medical devices be personalized for each patient.
They do this by using ultralow magnetic fields to precisely align ceramic fibers with liquid plastic. This is the same process which the human body uses to align calcium phosphate fibers in bone around blood vessel holes. It is not only extremely precise, but also reinforces the bone’s strength in the process.
Once the alignment is done, a process called stereolithography is used to stack the layers and harden the plastic with a laser beam.
The sort of precise structuring lets the operators fine-tune the mechanical properties of the material itself, allowing them to adjust the configuration of holes, corners, curves, and size of medical devices.
This process could prove invaluable in making sure that every device printed matches the specific needs of the patient, thus reducing the risk of rejection or infection.
It goes without saying that this technology will change the way people are treated, thus giving hope to countless lives.