Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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3D bioprinting on a moving surface using motion-capture technology

20 August 2020

Precise Printing

Have you ever tried writing while on a jittery train? It’s not easy to maintain perfect penmanship when the surface keeps moving beneath your hand. The same problem applies in the emerging world of 3D bioprinting. Engineers and scientists aim to print medical devices such as sensors or scaffolds for injury repair directly onto the body, but that’s not easy when skin and organs are constantly moving with the rhythm of life. A new approach uses motion-capture technology, like that used in film production, to track the movement of a surface, such as the inflating and deflating pig lung in the video, and move the printer in time. Researchers could then lay down a gel-like sensor, which flexed with the organ and relayed information back. Implanting devices in and around the body could help monitor or speed recovery in patients, so this precise printing has great potential.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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