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Biocompatible Material

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  • Biocompatible Material

    Hello!
    I am currently working on a project that involves 3D printing in the context of medical devices. So here's my question: are there any 3D printing materials that are both flexible and biocompatible?
    Thanks in advance for any answers!

  • #2
    What type of medical device? Surface contact, or implant? I'm not going to say that there isn't any biocompatible 3d printing media, but it will probably be difficult to come by and depending on where you are, the governing regulatory bodies may give it extra scrutiny. There are obviously plastics that are considered biocompatible, but even if you use one of those materials from a company that will give you a certificate of analysis guaranteeing its formulation, there may be problems with the fact that you're remelting and extruding that material in layers that could potentially trap foreign contamination. The startup I did work for had to purchase a study to prove the biocompatibility of 316L stainless steel. That is a specific alloy for medical implants, being used in a device that only had surface contact measured in seconds. If you're looking to design silicone implants, you might be able to 3d print your molds for quicker and cheaper iterations. With that approach, you're also back in the realm of traditional manufacturing processes that regulators may be more comfortable with.

    Sorry if this comes off negative. I certainly don't want to discourage innovative ideas. 3d printing does offer some options that aren't available using other manufacturing methods, so there could potentially be a good novel use for a 3d printed device. Can you say if you're approaching this from a research/university or from a commercial product design standpoint? I'd be interested to hear what you end up coming up with. Good luck.

    Matt

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    • #3
      Hey Matt. Thanks for your answer! It didn't come off negative at all. Currently, I am looking into several different medical devices some of which only have surface contact and others of which would require implantation. I am currently conducting research for a research institution. Really, I am just looking at the possibility of 3D printing in the context of medical devices and whether or not it would be beneficial to use 3D printing. The reason why I am looking into 3D printing rather than conventional manufacturing procedures is because the research that I am doing is related to deep space exploration, so standard manufacturing methods aren't really an option when you need to manufacture items on a spacecraft.

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      • #4
        As far as I know in the field of 3d printing nylon filament possess biocompatibility and used in medicine

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        • #5
          My company produces the world's only biodegradable ABS filament. It is called Enviro.
          http://www.3dprintlife.com/http/www3...abs/enviro-abs

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          • #6
            Wow! A biodegradable filament!
            this is a fantastic innovation, i wonder how long until it becomes cost effective to manufacture all disposable utensils and containers out of such a material!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by QofA View Post
              Hey Matt. Thanks for your answer! It didn't come off negative at all. Currently, I am looking into several different medical devices some of which only have surface contact and others of which would require implantation. I am currently conducting research for a research institution. Really, I am just looking at the possibility of 3D printing in the context of medical devices and whether or not it would be beneficial to use 3D printing. The reason why I am looking into 3D printing rather than conventional manufacturing procedures is because the research that I am doing is related to deep space exploration, so standard manufacturing methods aren't really an option when you need to manufacture items on a spacecraft.
              I have some experience in 3D printing medical implants. The issue you have with printing in FDM tech is that each layer will have to be sterilized. As each layer can trap bacterial we use UV lights to sterilize the layers which will make it safe for implants or surface contact. as SLA tech requires the model to be submerged in a bath of sterilize resin which uses a laser to cure the resin. these printers tend not to need any specialist requirements to make a sterile implant. however there are a limited amount of materials for these printers. also i dont know how well a resin liquid will work in space.

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              • #8
                That is extremely interesting AM3D. Are you able to go into any more details about what type of implants you've worked with?

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                • #9
                  Yeah we have worked with two surgeons. Both used the same technology but for different applications. one used a 3D printed PEEK plate for the skull and the other was to fuse a patents vertebra together. This material was selected because it is very chemically resistant, has really good wear and tear properties and has the ability to fuse with the existing bone this increases the chance of the body accepting the implant and speeds up the healing process.
                  Last edited by insik443; 08-08-2017, 05:13 AM.

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                  • #10
                    That's pretty amazing. Do you have a UV light running during the printing process, or does it turn on after each layer? Good luck going forward and thanks for sharing.

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                    • #11
                      Its no problem its good to hear that this technology is interesting to other people. The UV light can be harmful to peoples eyes, so after each layer is complete it gets a 3 second blast of UV lights before it starts a new layer. Also means the UV light is not running constantly which will save power.

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                      • #12
                        It is pricey but check out sintering printers. Could make custom shaped metal plates, rods, pins, etc... It uses a high energy laser so sterilization during the print should not be needed.

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