The medical field has benefited from advances in 3D printing. It has enabled the researchers to experiment with tissue engineering and bioprinting to produce body tissues, blood vessels, and other body organs as would be needed. The process of 3D bioprinting employs a procedure called additive manufacturing. Bioinks are used to make the structure that mimics tissues which are then used in medical interventions. Developments in the 3D printing arena continue to gradually advance and soon it will be possible to reproduce body parts.
There has been a challenge in the development of artificial tissues however, UK researchers have come up with a way of navigating this. The need for structures to be accurately constructed has now been resolved. This is through a method that balances how droplets are arranged in the resulting bilayers. This will in turn ensure that complex products can be developed. The researchers gathered information on how their structures will behave and function. This was by looking at how naturally occurring things like honeycombs are structured and function.
Furthermore, the researchers worked on structures that can be damaged. They also tried strategies that will help them better manage this scenario. This is so as to know how live tissues will behave in such an environment. According to the researchers, it is important to know how the printing framework influences droplet deformation.
They studied how droplet packing occurs in 2D and 3D with a focus on the value of contact angles. The droplets were then analysed in terms of how they were packed – “closely packed or body- centre cubic” and asymmetrical “ amorphous or not packed”. Their results came out to support the idea of additive manufacturing of 3D droplet networks that are complex in their structure and having a high resolution.
The advancements in 3D printing continue solving day to day challenges. In the wake of the current coronavirus pandemic, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is employing the use of 3D printing in the fight against Covid -19. In partnership with the US Army Medical Center at Fort Detrick, they will be developing nasal testing swabs.
Having been in the production of 3D face shields in the past, the Shipyard aims to print up 10000 swabs daily. The swabs that will be used for collecting samples from individuals. They are awaiting approval from Food and Drug Administration and later on shall be sterilized and be packaged into Covid-19 testing kits.