Sheffield Engineering are 3D printing solutions for damaged nerve tissue, which could be life changing for many people.
A year ago, they were well on their way with clinical trials on pieces printed with standard materials, but now they are looking to be less invasive by using something biodegradable. By printing small bio-compatible devices that a surgeon can implant, these conduits will help guide recovery and regeneration. The aim is to print them so they degrade over time, meaning there is no need to have them removed after they’ve done their job. This will be useful in aiding recovery caused by car accidents, blast injuries from land mines, and a host of other causes of nerve damage.
Among the team is Dr Frederik Claeyssens of Sheffield University, who is working on trial printing designs that best fit the body to aid nerve regeneration. He says they are using photo-curable resins after using lasers to make 3D constructs for the nerve guidance systems.
Professor John Haycock says that one of the biggest problems is creating new materials that are bio-compatible, but are also able to be 3D printed. He believes that through testing and research, he and his team will be able to significantly change the lives of patients with damaged nerves.
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