3D Printing concept, new device heals skin avoiding any stitches and scars
Despite the fact that additive manufacturing became more popular about two or three years ago, various branches of medicine are already making use of the advantages of 3D printing. Additive manufacturing is gaining pace in the field of treating injuries and other skin-related problems.
Most of you are likely to be familiar with the concept of 3D printing pens, with which you can create various things from some kind of light-sensitive ink or plastic filament. The device that a group of students from Brunel University in Uxbridge created is something similar to that pen, but instead of synthetic matter it has something to do with a person’s skin.
Their task was to imagine something that would make life healthier, easier and longer. That’s how they came up with the idea of something they called “The Suture”. The name was derived from the word “to suture” meaning to stitch up a wound or incision.
In fact this tool can mend skin injuries and it does it in such a way that absolutely opposes the meaning of the verb “to suture” – it makes no stitches. Frankly speaking, the device is a concept for the year of 2030. Nevertheless, it can totally help get rid of medical stitches and prevent scars.
The device will use HIF – high-intensity focused ultrasound – to join together the damaged skin leaving no scarred tissue. The leader of the project Andrew Guscott expects HIFU to lay the foundations of bloodless surgery and noninvasive procedures. HIFU heats a tiny part of selected tissue and blood to high temperatures, joining the damaged parts of skin together not touching anything else.
However this can’t be considered 3D printing, but the students mentioned that they used 3D printing to develop the model. Andrew Guscott, one of the students who worked on this project said that they used Formlab Form 1+ 3d printer to print almost all parts of the device expect the screen, which is acrylic.
By the way, HIFU is effective for the tissue that already exists, but in future the device will probably be supplied with a certain number of stem cells or something like that and probably it will be useful for creating parts of skin on the spot. So the Suture is likely to become a kind of 3D printer in the future, that’s how it’s somehow connected with smart pens we mentioned at the beginning.