3D printing is an additive manufacturing technique that allows for the creation of complex structures with maximum design freedom. NJCBM is currently interested in extending that philosophy into the generation of innovative biomaterials.
Normally, the requirement of computer assisted drawing (CAD) software is necessary in the design and translation of model to actual object. Here, the initial 3D models will be derived from medical imaging techniques like computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allowing for a direct relation to the human physiology rather than relying on a pre-designed static image. This opens up the possibility for individualized tissues that can be generated to fit the desired area with little to no waste of material in a much quicker fashion than one could with current tissue scaffolding techniques.
NJCBM is currently interested in using the most common techniques such as fused deposition modeling (FDM) and solvent-cast printing (including bioplotting) in their approach to 3D printing of tissues. Recently, Dr. Murat Guvendiren gave a presentation detailing the progress the future of 3D printing at NJCBM where he outlined two of his major goals: the development of novel ink materials for use in 3D printing and the facilitation of using 3D printing as a viable fabrication tool for tissue scaffolds and devices which are aligned with the Center's research interests. As 3D printing grows in popularity, its application and general usefulness has begun to spread to the field of biotechnology. NJCBM strives to continue being at the forefront of innovation. The addition of 3D printing into its already impressive arsenal of new and helpful technology will solidify the Center's place as a research leader than can benefit both scientific discovery and industry alike.