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3D-printed ears that look and act like the real thing

February 22, 2013

ear

Cornell bioengineers and Weill Cornell Medical College physicians have created an artificial ear that looks and acts like a natural ear, giving new hope to thousands of children born with a congenital deformity called microtia.

They used 3-D printing and injectable gels made of living cells to fashion ears that are practically identical to a human ear.

Over a three-month period, these flexible ears… read more

3D-printed microscopic cages confine bacteria in tiny zoos for the study of infections

October 10, 2013

The researchers use a novel 3-D printing technology to build homes for bacteria at a microscopic level. The resulting structures (imaged in red through confocal fluorescence) can be of almost any shape or size, and can be moved around in relationship to other structures containing bacterial microcommunities (imaged in green).<br />
Credit: Courtesy of Jason Shear

By caging bacteria in microscopic houses, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin are studying how communities of bacteria, such as those found in the human gut and lungs, interact and develop infections.

In a recent experiment, they demonstrated that a community of Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause some skin infections, became more resistant to antibiotics when it was contained within a larger community of Pseudomonasread more

3D-printed rocket parts

November 11, 2012

NASA_M2_Cusing_Machine

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is using ”selective laser melting” (SLM) to create intricate metal parts for America’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket, saving millions in manufacturing costs.

SLM is similar to 3-D printing (additive printing) and is the future of manufacturing, says Ken Cooper, advanced manufacturing team lead at the Marshall Center.

“This machine takes metal powder and uses a high-energy laser to… read more

3D-printed sensors to lower cost, improve comfort in diabetes management

March 18, 2015

Optical microscopy images of patterned gold on polyimide film substrate (top) prepared via microcontact printing and after platinum and silver electrodes deposition (bottom) by electroplating (credit: Xiaosong Du et al./ Xiaosong Du/ ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology)

Engineers at Oregon State University have used additive manufacturing to create an improved type of glucose sensor for patients with Type 1 diabetes, part of a system that should work better, cost less, and be more comfortable for the patient.

A key advance is use of an electrohydrodynamic jet (“e-jet” printing) to make the sensor, which detects glucose concentration based on electric current… read more

3D-printed tumor model allows for more realistic testing of how cancer cells grow and spread

April 15, 2014

3D cellular morphology on day 8

A group of researchers in China and the U.S. has created a 3D-printed model of a cancerous tumor to help discover new anti-cancer drugs and better understand how tumors develop, grow, and spread throughout the body.

The model consists of a scaffold of fibrous proteins (gelatin, alginate, and fibrin) corresponding to the extracellular matrix (support structure) of a tumor, in the form of a grid structure 10… read more

3D-printed-anatomy developers aim to revolutionize medical education

July 22, 2014

Part of the ‘3D Printed Anatomy Series’ thought to be the first commercially available resource of its kind (credit: Monash University)

A kit of 3D-printed anatomical body parts could revolutionize medical education and training, according to its developers at Monash University.

Professor Paul McMenamin, Director of the University’s Centre for Human Anatomy Education, said the simple and cost-effective anatomical kit would dramatically improve trainee doctors’ and other health professionals’ knowledge and could even contribute to the development of new surgical treatments.

“Many medical… read more

3D-printing basic electronic components

Just hit “print” to create an electronic circuit or wireless sensor in the comfort of your own home
July 22, 2015

UC Berkeley engineers created a "smart cap" using 3-D-printed plastic with embedded electronics to wirelessly monitor the freshness of milk. (credit: Photo by Sung-Yueh Wu)

UC Berkeley engineers, in collaboration with colleagues at Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University, have developed a 3D printing process for creating basic electronic components, such as resistors, inductors, capacitors, and integrated wireless electrical sensing systems.

As a test, they printed a wireless “smart cap” for a milk carton that detected signs of spoilage using embedded sensors.

The findings were published Monday, July 20, in… read more

3D-printing food in space

June 3, 2013

ISSfood

NASA and a Texas company are exploring the possibility of printing food on a 3D printer on deep space missions.

NASA has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to Systems and Materials Research Consultancy of Austin, Texas to conduct a study for the development of a 3D printed food system for long duration space missions.

As NASA ventures farther into space, whether… read more

3D-printing human embryonic stem cells for drug testing, future replacement of human organs

New 3D printing process is first to print the more delicate (and more useful) hESCs
February 6, 2013

3D printing with embryonic stem cells (credit: )

A new 3D printing process using human stem cells could pave the way to custom replacement organs for patients, eliminating the need for organ donation and immune suppression, and solving the problem of transplant rejection.

The process, developed at Edinburgh-based Heriot-Watt University, in partnership with Roslin Cellab, could also speed up and improve the process of reliable, animal-free drug testing by growing three-dimensional human tissues and structures… read more

3D-printing miniaturized medical implants, compact electronics, tiny robots, and more

June 24, 2013

For the first time, a research team from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated the ability to 3D-print a battery. This image shows the interlaced stack of electrodes that were printed layer by layer to create the working anode and cathode of a microbattery. [Ke Sun, Teng-Sing Wei, Jennifer Lewis, Shen J. Dillon]

A team based at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has printed precisely interlaced stacks of tiny battery electrodes, each less than the width of a human hair

3D printing can now be used to print lithium-ion microbatteries the size of a grain of sand. The printed microbatteries could supply electricity to tiny devices in fields from medicine to communications, including many that have… read more

3D-printing multi-material objects in minutes instead of hours

November 22, 2013

A computer model of a pair of tweezers shows the distribution of materials and degrees of hardness in the object to be 3-D printed in Dr. Yong Chen's lab at USC Viterbi.</p>
<p>Credit: USC Viterbi

In another leap for 3D printing, researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed a faster 3D printing process that allows for 3D-printing multi-material objects in minutes instead of hours.

Fabrication time and the complexity of multi-material objects have been a hurdle to widespread use of 3D printing.

Speeding up printing

USC Viterbi researchers developed improved mask-image-projection-based stereolithography (MIP-SL) to drastically… read more

3D-printing non-toxic biocompatible medical implants

October 25, 2013

scaffold_for_tissue_engineering

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.… read more

3D-printing objects containing multiple metals and alloys

July 29, 2014

This is a prototype of a mirror mount that scientists made using a new 3-D printing technique. The part at the top near the glass mirror is made of a metal with low thermal expansion, so that it won't shrink in space as much as most metals do. Using this kind of metal therefore prevents stress in the epoxy adhesive between the mirror and the metal. The bottom part of this mount is stainless steel, and could be connected to a stainless steel component of a spacecraft. (Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech)

Researchers at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, and Pennsylvania State University have developed a 3D printing process that transitions from one metal or alloy to another in a single object.

For example, they created a prototype of an improved telescope mirror mount. The part at the top near the glass mirror is made of a metal with low… read more

3D-printing synthetic tissues

April 9, 2013

Schematic of printing in aqueous solution. Aqueous droplets are ejected into a<br />
drop of oil suspended in bulk aqueous solution.

A custom-built programmable 3D printer can create materials with some the properties of living tissues, Oxford University scientists have demonstrated.

The new type of material consists of tens of thousands of picoliter connected water droplets encapsulated within lipid films, which can perform some of the functions of the cells inside our bodies.

These printed “droplet networks” might be interfaced with tissues, used as tissue… read more

3M and IBM to develop new types of adhesives to create 3D semiconductors

September 8, 2011
3D chips

3M and IBM announced that the two companies plan to jointly develop the first adhesives that can be used to package semiconductors into densely stacked silicon “towers,” making it possible to build, for the first time, commercial microprocessors composed of layers of up to 100 separate chips.

Such stacking would allow for dramatically higher levels of integration for information technology and consumer electronics applications. Processors could… read more

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