Unforeseen worlds conflict in this study project led by a group of computer scientists and mechanical experts from the University of Minnesota. The team has created an additive manufacturing method that utilizes movement capturing technology. The technology is typically utilized for movie creation, to print electronic detectors onto organs that are increasing and decreasing. The group states the method could be utilized to identify and control the lungs of patients suffering from conditions like COVID-19 that place the well-being of healthcare experts in danger.
The study, currently posted in the journal Science Advances, relies on an additive manufacturing method created 2 years ago by the very group of scientists and engineers. It has the ability to print electronic straight onto the skin.
The strategy was effectively illustrated in 2018 by directly printing onto a hand that was moving right to left. The refreshed additive manufacturing procedure showed in the fresh research blends a more advanced monitoring system. It enables for the printing of electronics onto organs electronics while they move.
“We are pushing the boundaries of 3D printing in new ways we never even imagined years ago,” revealed a University of Minnesota senior expert on the study and mechanical engineering professor, Michael McAlpine. “3D printing on a moving object is difficult enough, but it was quite a challenge to find a way to print on a surface that was deforming as it expanded and contracted.”
The additive manufacturing technique was tried with a balloon-like surface that matched with the movement capture detection markers. They are similar to those utilized in film creation to make unique effects. These markers enabled the 3D printer to adapt its printing path, monitoring the decreases and increase of the substrate.
Also, the study group tried the procedure with an artificially inflated lung of an animal. In these experiments, they were able to effectively print a fine hydrogel-based detector straight onto the surface of the lung. Later on, the very method could be utilized to print straight onto other crucial organs such as the heart.
“The broader idea behind this research, is that this is a big step forward to the goal of combining 3D printing technology with surgical robots,” said McAlpine, who holds the Kuhrmeyer Family Chair Professorship in the University of Minnesota Department of Mechanical Engineering.
“In the future, 3D printing will not be just about printing but instead be part of a larger autonomous robotic system. This could be important for diseases like COVID-19 where health care providers are at risk when treating patients.”