SCIENTISTS at the University of Huddersfield have spearheaded the development of a new technique for using 3D printing to produce soft gel medical implants customised to the needs of individual patients.
Replacement heart valves and blood vessels, plus artificial skin, bespoke drug delivery systems and smart dressings tailored to treat deep tissue wounds are among the many potential uses of a technique that has been named SLAM – suspended layer additive manufacture. Now, a major UK consortium that supports medical innovation is to explore its full potential, including the production of full thickness skin models.
“We will present our work to different medical professions. Almost every time I speak about it, people suggest new uses,” said one of the researchers behind the development of SLAM, Alan Smith, who is the University of Huddersfield’s Professor of Biopolymer Science.