3D Printed Guide Helps to Regrow Complex Nerves After Injury
Now that the technology and science are both being used for the development and advancement of the medical relief, the medical field opens its door for a new life-saving relief from nerve injury. A team of researchers from the national group did a major groundbreaking medical research, which happened in Minnesota, about medical aid for people who suffered from nerve injuries and other diseases. This research was the use of the 3D printed guide for the regrowth of the nerves of the sensory and motor functions.
It has been a major medical problem to regenerate the nerve after an injury or disease. The complexity of the case took the medical team the initiative to do the first ever 3D printed guide to regrow complex nerves and repair the damage from an injury. Although it has been observed and learned that, once a nerve is damaged, it will be permanent, and that the nerves have no capability of repairing itself, it has been studied also that peripheral nervous system can be regenerated. With the help of this 3D printing guide, there is a solution for this problem now.
The team of medical researchers maximizes the use of the technology by utilizing 3D imaging and 3D printing in creating a silicone guide to be used for the nerve regeneration. This is customized with an implanted biochemical cue, and it was already tested clinically using rats.
The first thing the team did was to get a 3D scan of the structure and image of the nerves of the rat. Based on this, they were able to get the image of the tissue, as well as the nerves in full angle. The nerves and tissues were scanned through the MeshLab software and the Netfabb and FIT GmbH software. The scanned images, on the other hand, were carefully aligned and assembled using the Geomagic Design X and 3D systems. These images were perfected accordingly before exported to the 3D CAD software for printing. A validation is followed with the use of the Dimension Elite and Alleghaney Ed. Systems for conversion. The KISSlicer software is used to convert the model. After all of these steps, the device is then custom-printed using the microextrusion-based 3D printing system.
Technically, the printing has a speed range of ≈0.1–1 mm/s−1 and the materials used for the printed image are alginate, calcium chloride, poly, polycaprolactone, silicone, and gelatin methacrylate hydrogel.
The printed guide was surgically grafted into the nerves of the rat, and the result was successful as the rat started to walk again in 10 to 12 weeks’ time. This remarkable study and research proved that science and technology can both do something to help people find the best relief and regrowth of the complex nerve, making the nerve to regenerate and grow again after an injury. It is the desire and goal of these medical practitioners especially the surgeons, to have the 3D scanners and printers in the hospital to directly see the injury and the condition of the nerve that is damaged for possible repair and regeneration.