Project Title: Development of 3D printing techniques capable of 3D printing gels with applications in anatomical simulators for medical training
Funding Entity: Junta de Extremadura, SEXPE
Participating Entities: Universidad de Extremadura, BIOTME
Duration: 15/7/2022 – 14/7/2023
Budget: 40 677.14 €
Principal Investigator (PI): Pedro Miranda
Number of researchers: 1
This project is oriented towards the development and optimization of new additive manufacturing techniques capable of printing complex three-dimensional structures from non-aqueous based gels with applications in biomedical engineering. Specifically, these are gels developed by the company BIOTME S.L., for use in the manufacture of anatomical simulators for medical training (ASMT) with haptic and ultrasound properties similar to those of living tissue. To achieve the objectives of the project, robocasting/direct ink writing technique will be adaptedto extrude the gels at high temperatures and consolidate their shape after extrusion through a controlled change of their temperature. The necessary devices for this process will be designed and developed and the printing procedures will be optimized to obtain layer by layer complex pieces from the gels supplied by BIOTME S.L. Likewise, possible post-treatments necessary to optimize the quality and performance of the manufactured parts will be identified and optimized, where appropriate. In addition, the microstructure and three-dimensional geometry of the parts will be analyzed and their mechanical behavior will be evaluated under both static uniaxial stresses and in cyclic tests. The results of the microstructural and mechanical characterization will be compared with those of materials conventionally produced by the company through casting processes.
The systems and procedures resulting from this study will allow the development of new simulators for anatomically precise medical training with internal cavities and more complex geometries that will allow to considerably expand the product catalog of the company BIOTME S.L. In addition, the research carried out will allow to expand the additive manufacturing capabilities of the UEx research team, entering the field of 3D printing of gels, with important applications in the field of bioprinting and soft tissue engineering, which would add to the already extensive experience of the GEMA group in 3D printing of bioceramics for bone regeneration.