Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.
Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: School of Engineering and School of Life Sciences, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne;
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois
Project no: GRS-057/18
Amount of funding: CHF 375'000
Duration: 03.2019 - 08.2020
Area of activity: Pilotprojekte, 1998 - 2018
PhD Damien Loterie
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
EPFL STI IMT LAPD, BM 4109
1015 Lausanne (Schweiz)
- damien.loterie@epfl. ch
Healthcare professionals increasingly use patient-specific medical devices in order to improve the quality of treatments. However, current manufacturing methods are in many cases inadequate to respond to this need. For example, patient-tailored hearing aids made with elastic materials can significantly improve the comfort of hearing-impaired people, but there is currently no reliable, cost-effective way to produce them. In hospitals, surgeons increasingly use plastic 3D printed organ models for surgical training, but it is currently impractical to produce these models with realistic, soft materials. Finally, in synthetic tissue engineering, no straightforward method exists to create large cell-seeded scaffolds with internal vasculatures, hampering progress towards synthetic organs.
To address these challenges, we are deploying a radically new additive manufacturing platform: tomographic 3D printing. It is a volumetric 3D printing approach, as opposed to the traditional layer by layer approach of current 3D printers. With the volumetric approach, it is possible to rapidly produce complex objects in soft materials that are not possible to produce with other technologies. With the help of the Gebert Rüf Stiftung, we aim to develop and field-test a tomographic 3D printer to create concrete soft material manufacturing solutions in biomedical applications.
What is special about the project?
The project will build upon an unconventional new 3D printing method that lifts several of the constraints associated with traditional methods. Additionally, the project involves audiologists, doctors and biomedical researchers who will evaluate and give feedback on the printer and the printed parts. Thanks to their collaboration, we aim to meet the needs of real practitioners in their daily practice. With this project, we hope to break new ground in medical device manufacturing and bioprinting, and enable applications that could not have been possible before.
We already designed and built a small proof-of-concept printing experiment. With this setup, we printed several complex structures using a hard acrylic material. We can print objects of a few cubic centimeters in a time of the order of 30 seconds. Preliminary results also indicate that the method is compatible with materials such as hydrogels and silicones, which are relevant for biomedical applications.
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 06.08.2019