Chemistry World : 3D Printing of a Soft Network

Description : 

3D Printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. Designers and engineers in the aerospace and automotive sectors have been using the process for decades to build prototypes. Many complex parts manufactured by 3D Printing are now present on aircraft, satellites, medical industry etc. etc.

3D Printing technology is advancing rapidly and its cost is falling dramatically. And this means something that was once restricted to a few elite industries is quickly becoming  more widely available and affordable. It's going to open up so many new possibilities for new businesses, new business models, start-up companies, new products and much more!

Now lets learn about a synthetic material capable of performing some of the functions of living cells : Oxford University scientists have used a specially modified 3D prototype printer to lay down a network of interconnected, electrically conductive droplets. 

This technology could find it's way into tissue engineering applications, helping to support cells that are being grown into healthy new organs - replace damaged human tissue or deliver drugs to specific locations.

"We aren't trying to make materials that faithfully resemble tissues, but rather structures that can carry out the functions of tissues," says Professor Hagan Bayley, who led the research reported in the journal Science.

3D Printing lets you build an object as complex as an organ, layer by layer or droplet by droplet, explains Cameron Ferris a research associate from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong.

Read the full story at Chemistry World.

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