New universal carrier ink for 3-D printing

The new carrier ink can be used to produce personalized implants such as heart valves. Credit: Guzzi, et al. 2020

Researchers at ETH have produced a gel from cellulose fibers and biodegradable nanoparticles that liquefies when pressed through the nozzle of a 3-D printer, but then quickly returns to its original shape. Their invention paves the way for personalized biomaterial implants.

In the same way that medicine has seen a trend towards precision medicine—where treatment is tailored to the genetic make-up of the patient—in recent years, materials scientists are increasingly turning their attention to precision biomaterials. As things stand, however, personalised implants are still a long way off. “But at the moment, we’re making great progress toward this goal—and learning a lot in the process,” says Mark Tibbitt, Professor of Macromolecular Engineering in the…

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