Bio Medical Applications of 3D Printing

Introduction

Medical 3-D printing is an emerging technology which can produce customized prosthetics or implants instantaneously. The aim of this article is to enlighten the reader of the latest advancements in the field of Medical 3D printing and bring forward our contribution in the Indian Medical 3D Printing industry.

Being used worldwide-
3D Printing has been successfully adopted across the globe and has made its way into research labs, universities, and medical offices around the world. Clinicians have started creating customized bio products at will. This had been impossible previously.

What is 3D printing ?
3D Printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D Printed object is achieved using additive processes. 
In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.

Why is 3D Printing perfect for the medical industry ?
3D Printing is just perfect for the medical industry as it caters to the unique requirements of each patient. 3D Printers allow customized bio implants and personalized devices to be created instantaneously and at an affordable price. The beauty of this technology lies in the fact that it is available as portable as a desktop based printer and at affordable rates. The availability of bio compatible raw materials ensures that the final bio products are bio compatible ready for clinical use on patients.

Where is the future headed ?
Many believe the future of 3D printing is bio printing which involves printing human tissue and organs by layering living cells instead of plastic or titanium. The ability to print human tissue will have a huge impact on surgical operations , transplants, and reconstructive surgery.

Picture Depicts — Infographic showing the advancement of 3D Printing in medical sector and which of the body parts can be 3D Printed

Benefits of 3D Printing in the Medical Industry

  1. Reduced time to create Clinical Medical Devices
    In the past, cost and time consideration wise prototypes were expensive in medical design work, but 3D Printing provides a faster, more efficient system that allows medical product manufacturers to develop clinical trial-ready devices in-house to check everything from function to manufacturability.
    Medical devices can be difficult to produce, due to the small size and
    complexity of parts. 3D Printing allows manufacturers to easily create these difficult parts using 3D CAD models. 3D Printing these devices instead of manufacturing saves a good chunk of money and time.

2. Create Customized Final-use Medical Implants or Medical Prosthetics
 
Every patient has its own unique body, which requires their own uniquely
 measured prosthetic. This is easily taken care by the 3D Printing
 technologies. Customized Medical devices produced by 3D Printing include
 orthopedic and cranial implants, surgical instruments, dental restorations
 such as crowns, and external prosthetics.

3. Plan out Medical Procedures with Precise Anatomical Models
 
In cases where complex, multi-faceted surgical procedures are required, the
 ability to predetermine the best possible outcome is key. Anatomical
 modeling — made possible through the use of our 3D printing systems
 allows surgical teams to evaluate several different treatment scenarios before
 deciding on a plan that ensures that these needs are met.

Contribution to the Indian Bio 3D Printing Industry

O2i (Oxygen to Innovation)is continuously working hard towards advancement of 3D Printing technology in the field of Bio Medicine.
Some of our key contribution towards this industry are as follows -

Oxygen to Innovation — Bringing ideas to life
3D Printed Invisible Braces

Our team specializes in creating customized invisible braces. Previously braces would require ugly looking wires dangling out of a patient’s mouth but that era has gone with invisible braces that allow for the patient being treated without any social stigma or inhibition.
We have used 3D Printing to manufacture customized invisible braces which is rapidly replacing the way orthodontists treat teeth misalignment cases.

Picture Depicts — Invisible braces in the process of making at O2i Technologies
Picture Depicts — Invisible braces ready for use at O2i workstation
Medical Devices
Picture Depicts — Medical device been developed using 3D Printing at O2i workstation

We have the ability to 3D Print customized medical devices and customized medical grade implants.
Reconstructive surgeries and in general complicated surgeries require surgical guides and customized medical instruments. Our team of biomedical and 3d printing experts help design and manufacture surgical guides and customized medical devices based on the surgeon’s needs.

Surgical Models
Surgical model reconstructed from a CT scan and 3D printed by Oxygen to Innovation for maxillofacial surgery

Patient-specific models from CT and MRI scans help prepare doctors for complicated surgeries, thus drastically reducing surgery times.
We have reconstructed 3D models for doctors from MRI and CT scans to help them in bone surgery and maxillofacial surgeries.

Surgical model reconstructed from a MRI scan and 3D printed by Oxygen to Innovation for Bone Surgery.

Also, these models serve as a great tool in demonstrating different body parts to medical students. They can also be used by medical students to practice surgeries.

Future of 3D Printing

3D Bio-Printing is the next big thing to create an impact on the health care industry. Additive deposition of spatially controlled cell structures leading to replaceable organs and body parts will be the next major contribution that 3D Printing is anticipated to bring about. We aim to introduce this technology in India in years to come.
The remaining article will cover the latest research going on across the world and the future technologies that are expected.

Organs

While an entire organ has yet to be successfully printed for practical surgical use, scientists and researchers have successfully printed kidney cells, sheets of cardiac tissue that beat like a real heart and the foundations of a human liver, among many other organ tissues.

Picture Depicts — Work in progress on skin grafts

This can be achieved through a process called 3D Bio-Printing through which almost any kind of of cell patterns can be created 3D Printing technologies, where cell function and viability are preserved within the printed construct.

Implants and Prosthetics

3D-Printable prosthetics are changing the face of medicine, as engineers and physicians are able to develop prosthetics that are fully customized to the wearer.

Picture Depicts — Custom based prosthetics been used in real life

This technology is becoming increasingly vital in the medical field due the 3D Printed implants which can be made to perfectly fit the patient and also have a certain medical benefit from its usage. Some of the vital parts of the body that can be 3D Printed include Spinal cord implants, Bone Structures, Dental Implants, Hearing Aids, Vision Based Devices.

Skin and Tissues
Picture Depicts — 3D Prinitng been implemented to create skin grafts

Skin is the body’s largest organ. Loss of the skin barrier results in fluid and heat loss and the risk of infection. The traditional treatment for deep burns is to cover them with healthy skin harvested from another part of the body. But in cases of extensive burns, there often isn’t enough healthy skin to harvest.

That is where 3D Printing comes in, Imagine the uses that printing skin grafts could do for burn victims, skin cancer patients and other kinds of afflictions and diseases that affect the epidermis.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion 3D Printing has touched the surface in the Medical industry but it has already created a huge impact. From customization, accessibility an affordability, 3D Printing fulfills all the requirements of mass adoptability. 
The future of 3D Printing revolves around bio printing. Scientists across the world are researching bio printing and we hope that bio printing will make organs and skin replacement available.

O2i (Oxygen to Innovation) is committed to being part of this revolution and is extensively exploring applications and implementing patient specific cases.

Oxygen to Innovation — Bringing ideas to life

Our range of services include

1. 3D model reconstruction from CT and MRI scans.
2. 3D Model print and 1:1 scale or scaled down version reconstruction
3. 3D Bio Compatible Implants
4. Complete Solutions for Invisible Aligners for Orthodontists.
5. Complete Impressions scans and Mouth Caps.
6. Medical Device Design (CAD) and Device Development (Prototypes).
7. Medical Device Manufacturing ( Batch and large Scale ).

O2i Technologies is based in New Delhi ( India ) and specializes in providing 3D enabled medical technologies, Complete orthodontic solutions for Invisible Braces and Medical Device and Development. Our team comprises of Biomedical and clinical experts to successfully execute intricate projects.

We would look forward to discussing your project or your application.