Micro Medical Devices to Be Developed by BMF and 4D Biomaterials

RAPID

Share this Article

We’re still awaiting the nanobot medical revolution that was promised by science fiction decades ago and, at this point, we’re probably less and less sure that we’d want such a thing to begin with. Nevertheless, progress is being made in the world of tiny medicine. Boston Micro Fabrication (BMF) has teamed with British materials firm 4D Biomaterials to enable the 3D printing of microscale, bioresorbable, microscale medical devices.

BMF’s projection micro-stereolithography (PµSL) is similar to digital light processing (DLP), except that it uses a digital micro display projector to cure photopolymer resin at the microscale. This makes it capable of printing objects 100 times smaller than a human hair. So far, the company’s technology has been used for more complex electrical routing for microelectronic subsystems, among other applications. 4D Biomaterials develops 3D printable, biocompatible and bioresorbable materials that can exhibit such mechanical properties as softness, pliability, and adipose tissue-like behavior to firm and rigid, bone-like properties.

By combining BMF’s PµSL with 4D Biomaterials’ 4Degra resin the two businesses hope to create biocompatible and bioresorbable micro-scale medical devices. These would range from rigid orthopedic devices and fixations to soft tissue applications, all at the microscale. While they haven’t specified what products they have in mind, we have seen a great deal of research into microscopic drug delivery systems and microneedles, and can also imagine the production of micro cannulas, micro stents, and other devices.

A micro stent 3D printed using BMF technology. Image courtesy of BMF.

BMF says that it already has customers looking to 3D print micro-scale medical devices. BMF CEO John Kawola elaborated:

“Our customers continue to seek out solutions to miniaturize and now with bioresorbable material options, a whole new range of devices is possible. Miniaturization in medical device development has been held back by the limitations of traditional manufacturing methods and the materials available. The BMF and 4D Biomaterials partnership is working toward eliminating those barriers.”

“This partnership with BMF represents a huge opportunity when it comes to printing micro-structures. We are enabling medical device companies to think about 3D printing micro-resorbable implants for the first time,” said Philip Smith, CEO of 4D Biomaterials. “The bioresorbable polymers market is estimated to be USD 1.0 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 1.6 billion by 20261 We are already seeing the demand from this market growth as the range of applications continues to widen with the advancements in hardware, software and materials technology.”

Both companies are still new, carving a niche out for themselves in the world of micro 3D printing and biomaterials, but as they find customers and publish case studies, the exact possibilities of these technologies will start to become clearer. And, even then, they will only scratch the surface because, when it comes to niches such as theirs, there’s only so much that we can imagine for such unimaginable technologies.

Share this Article


Recent News

BellaSeno’s Pioneering 3D Printing Facility for Medical Implants to Open in 2025

Velo3D and Desktop Metal Announce Reverse Stock Splits; while Shapeways Divests Software Assets



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Startup Accelerator: Will PanX Disrupt Simulation for 3D Printing?

I usually try to stay grounded and err on the side of little to no enthusiasm for new things. This has historically been a good approach in 3D printing. However,...

3D Printing Financials: Velo3D Sees Better Q1 2024 After Difficult Last Quarter

Velo3D‘s (NYSE: VLD) first quarter of 2024 shows signs of recovery after a challenging end to 2023. The company is reaping the benefits of its strategic realignment and cost-reduction efforts....

Wisconsin’s Evology Adds Digital Sheet Forming to Service Roster

Evology, a service bureau based in Wisconsin and specializing in serving strategic sectors like aerospace and defense, has added digital sheet forming (DSF) to its repertoire of manufacturing capabilities. Evology...

Printing Money Episode 17: Recent 3D Printing Deals, with Alex Kingsbury

Printing Money is back with Episode 17!  Our host, NewCap Partners‘ Danny Piper, is joined by Alex Kingsbury for this episode, so you can prepare yourself for smart coverage laced...