Additive Manufacturing (AM) is used in many mainstream industrial applications throughout several industry sectors.
Fremont, CA: The ever increasing demand for customized medical devices and pharmaceuticals has seen massive growth in additive manufacturing (AM) into the medical and life sciences sectors. Across the industry, specifically in the life sciences sector, AM has been disruptive, and some would even say revolutionary, and it has boosted the manufacturing of tailored implants and prosthetics, personalized and adjustable dosage creates for drug delivery, tissue engineering, and disease modeling.
But the usage of AM in life science applications is not very straightforward. For instance, the physiochemical and biopharmaceutical characteristics of very active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the drug formulations are highly varied and need to be considered together with any proposed AM drug delivery solution. The over-riding requirement for patient-centric drug and medical product development states that AM’s future is secured in the life sciences sector.
AM has become an established technology in manufacturing models (phantoms) for surgical planning and training, implants and prostheses, patient-specific anti-microbial wound dressings, and few novel forms of drug delivery, but a relatively less advanced area.
AM fueled bioprinting’s vital stimulus to secure a solution for organ or tissue rejection and the need for lifelong immunosuppressant-based therapies. The field of regenerative medicine is continuously on the look-out for mechanisms that helps in the fabrication of multi-layer soft biological materials like living cells, and in this extremely exacting area of research, AM is searching for a foothold.
AM has been utilized to prepare tissue constructs like blood vessels, liver, kidneys, heart tissue, cartilage, and bone. But all the developments in this area in the use of AM needs a focus on the long-term life of the “printed” cells, the control of cell proliferation to offer a sufficient amount of functional and supporting the cells and tissue homeostasis, and the need for tissues utilized in 3D printing to be possible to survive the pressure and shear stress in the 3D printing process, and also contact with the potentially harmful compounds.
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