Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Conceptualizing the Future of Skin Fusion in Replacing the Need for Stitches, Using 3D Printing

ST Medical Devices

Share this Article

sutureIt is always fun to think about the future; to close our eyes, and dream of a time when technology has advanced further along, making our lives easier, longer, healthier, and more efficient.

Students at Brunel University in Uxbridge, England were recently asked to do just this, and what they came up with was quite a sensational idea. The idea, which one of the students working on this project, Andrew Guscott, says was then conceptualized as a tangible model via 3D printing, was for a device called “Suture.” Suture is a concept for the year 2030 which aims to completely remove the need for medical stitches, while also preventing the scarring of human tissue.

Most of us have had stitches at one point in our lives, and we all know that once those stitches are either removed or have dissolved, we are left with an ugly scar. This scar most likely will remain with us for the rest of our lives. The idea behind Suture is the utilization of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to fuse damaged skin back together, leaving no scarring whatsoever.

suturefeatured2

While the technology isn’t being used yet for this purpose, Guscott must believe that it has the potential to do so. HIFU has been under investigation for many years for use within the medical field. Researchers hope to one day be able to perform “bloodless surgery” without the need for scalpels, or sutures. Some researchers believe that ultra high intensity ultra sound will be capable of destroying cancerous tissue in a very precise manner, while some think it will be able to completely numb a person from pain. The theory behind using HIFU for suturing skin together is based on its ability to heat blood and tissue to an extremely high temperature but only affect a tiny portion of that tissue, perhaps the size of a grain of rice. This could potentially allow for the suturing of skin without affecting surrounding tissue.

suture3In order to create a tangible model of the Suture device, Guscott says a Form 1 3D printer by Formlabs was used for almost the entire fabrication.

“All parts were printed on a standard Form1, except the screen, which is acrylic,” explained Guscott. “The ‘head’ was printed in clear and polished on the outside, sand blasted on the inside. The rest was printed with MadeSolid white resin (very early batch).”

We have seen before how incredibly amazing some of the clear resins turn out once printed on a Form 1 3D printer, and then post processed. There has even been a 3D printed magnifying glass printed via this method. To mimic the aluminum unibody of the device, Guscott and team used MadeSolid white resin, then sanded it down, and finished it with silver paint and matte lacquer. As you can see, it does look very much like aluminum. The orange button, located on the side, was 3D printed with clear resin, and then finished with orange gloss paint. All in all, the design turned out quite amazing looking, especially for a device that was almost entirely 3D printed.

Of course this is just a concept model, and doesn’t actually work, but it certainly goes to show that high quality, injection molded-like parts can be achieved using the SLA technology presented by the Form 1 3D printer. Will we ever see a device like this in the future? We very well may!

suturefeatured

What do you think about the quality achieved via Formlab’s 3D printer, when combined with some interesting post-processing techniques? Discuss in the 3D Printed ‘Suture’ forum thread on 3DPB.com.

Share this Article


Recent News

FDM 3D Printing Support Removal Times Cut in Half with VORSA 500

3D Printing Drone Swarms, Part 12: 3D Printing Missiles



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

ICAM 2021: Keynotes on 3D Printing in Healthcare & Aerospace

At last month’s International Conference on Additive Manufacturing (ICAM) 2021 in Anaheim, California, hosted by ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AMCOE), a wide variety of topics were covered,...

Featured

3D Printing Unicorns: Gelato Gets $240M in Funding, Expands into 3D Printing

On-demand printing platform Gelato, based in Oslo, Norway, achieved the coveted unicorn status after a new funding round. On August 16, 2021, the company announced it had raised $240 million...

Featured

US Army and Raytheon to Use 3D Systems Metal 3D Printing to Heat-Optimize Munitions

3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) has been chosen by defense contractor Raytheon and the U.S. Army’s central laboratory to help with a design optimization project. To do that, the 3D Systems’...

Raytheon Receives Funding for Aerospace 3D Printing of Optical Components

This spring, Ohio-based America Makes, the leading collaborative partner in additive technology research, discovery, and innovation for the US, announced its latest Project Call for AXIOM, or  Additive for eXtreme Improvement...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.