TU Wien aim to produce a novel range of materials for bone scaffolds

A new Christian Doppler Laboratory has been opened at TU Wien (Vienna, Austria) which has a research focus on producing bone substitute implants by 3D printing.

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A new Christian Doppler Laboratory has been opened at TU Wien (Vienna, Austria) which has a research focus on producing bone substitute implants by 3D printing.  

Every bone in the human body is unique in its shape and composition. This makes them ideal structures to produce using 3D printing, which allows researchers the opportunity to customize bone implants to fit the patient perfectly.

Until recently, discovering the right material for producing 3D printed bone scaffolds has been difficult, however, the team at TU Wein is hoping the new laboratory will improve and produce a new range of materials suitable for bone scaffold implants.

These materials need to meet a whole range of requirements. They need to be strong to prevent further breaks but also porous to allow infiltration of the body’s bone building cells and nutrients so the healing process can take place. The materials also need to biodegrade over time to let the bone fully develop and include calcium phosphate particles to help with bone formation. Finally, the material must be a fluid at room temperature, so it flows out of the printer’s nozzles before it is solidified when exposed to light of the right wavelength.

"We already know a lot about the chemistry of the individual components required for this process, now we are focusing our research on finding the right mixture of materials so that all these requirements are met," added Stefan Baudis (TU Wien).

Going forward, the researchers from the Christian Doppler Laboratory aim to trial the novel range of materials by producing 3D printing scaffolds. They aim to produce the scaffolds utilizing modern imaging technologies which will measure precisely the damaged region of the bone. The data collected will then be used to develop a bone scaffold of precisely the right shape, which will be glued onto the natural bone over the damaged region during an operation.  

"Using 3D printers in medicine will unlock new potential both for individuals and the economy. Innovative medicine, such as customized bone implants, opens up exciting possibilities and growth prospects for those in this industry," concluded Elisabeth Udolf-Strobl (Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs; Vienna, Austria).

Source: www.tuwien.at/en/tu-wien/news/news-articles/news/3d-printed-bones/

Go to the profile of Mike Gregg

Mike Gregg

Commissioning Editor, Future Science Group

I have now left Future Science Group and the role of Commissioning Editor for the Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine. For any journal related enquiries, please contact Daniel Barrett at: d.barrett@futuremedicine.com

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