Engineering biodegradable polymers for 3D printing of personalized medical devices

Yinyin Bao (D-CHAB)

Additive manufacturing (commonly called 3D printing) has attracted great attention due to its powerful ability to create complex 3D geometries with precise microarchitectures. In combination with medical imaging techniques, it might provide enormous opportunities to design customized drug formulations and biomedical devices.1 Among the existing 3D printing techniques, digital light processing (DLP) emerged with high resolution and surface quality, desktop size, designable materials and relatively low cost, which is based on a localized light-initiated photopolymerization process, taking place in a bath containing liquid (macro)monomers and photoinitiators. However, the lack of biocompatible and biodegradable materials suitable for DLP limits their application in the biomedical area, especially for the manufacture of elastic personalized devices.2 As a typical elastic implant, airway stents are designed to simulate the airway anatomy providing palliation of symptoms in patients suffering from central airway obstruction.3 However, the clinical use of commercial one-size-fits-all stents is often constrained by the geometrical mismatching to the complex tracheabronchial anatomy of individual patients,4 this could be changed by personalized 3D printing. We aim at the development of biodegradable polymeric materials for DLP 3D printing with highly tunable mechanical properties, towards the manufacture of personalized airway stents. This work opens new perspectives for developing precise personalized medical devices with biodegradability as well as high mechanical properties by 3D printing.
1. Zhao, H.; Yang, F.; Fu J.; Gao, Q.; Liu, A.; Sun, M.; He, Y. ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 2017, 3, 3083.
2. Zhang, J.; Xiao, P. Polym. Chem., 2018, 9, 1530.
3. Lee P.; Kupeli E.; Mehta A. C. Clin. Chest Med. 2010, 31, 141.
4. Dutau, H.; Musani, A. I.; Laroumagne, S.; Darwiche, K.; Freitag L.; Astoul P. Respiration 2015, 90, 512.

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