Researchers of Nottingham university have 3D printed a prosthetic limb with a reduced risk of infection
Artificial body parts such as a foot, finger, hand or arm, has to be efficient, accurate and custom made,
there’s no one shoe fits all for prostheses and most prosthetics need to be custom made for individuals.
Few prosthetics have a low infection rate, and current 3D printing has design limitations and can not create a custom made device with various biological and mechanical functions.
Nottingham University researchers have discovered a way to tailor devices with better shape and durability,
plus better efficiency.
Dr Yinfeng He, the project leader says ” For the first time, we were able to demonstrate the possibility of combining complex functions within a customised healthcare device,
using a computer-aided,
material 3D-print technique.”
They are aiming to 3d print any medical device that needs individual shapes and functions.
The illustration they gave is the creation of a one-piece prosthetic limb or joint to restore a lost finger or leg that fits the patient perfectly.
this improves the comfort and durability of the prosthetic.
Even more impressive, is printing bespoke pills containing multiple drugs-polypills- enhanced to release into the body in a pre-designed therapeutic sequence.
The potential of this device for an ageing population is enormous,
As higher demand for medical devices increases in the future.
These devices would improve the health and wellbeing of an older population.
The Researchers for this project used a computer algorithm to design and manufacture 3D printed objects comprised of 2 materials of differing stiffness to enhance rigidity, They were also able to make custom-shaped parts with the required durability and flexibility.
Currently, artificial finger joint replacements use silicone and metal parts, giving a standard level of dexterity, while retaining enough rigidity to implant into the bone.
The team were able to 3D print a finger joint with both these requirements in one device bespoke in strength and size to meet individual patient needs.