Biodegradable synthetic resin replaces vital body parts

June 9, 2009
Biodegradable carrier structure made using stereolithography. The newly-developed polylactide-based resin makes it possible to replicate three-dimensional digital structures very accurately. The white bar is 500 micrometre in length. A) photograph of a porous structure fabricated using stereolithography. B) Micro-CT scan of the structure fabricated. C) Electron microscope image. D) Porous structure sown with bone cells.

Researchers at the University of Twente (UT) have developed a new type of resin that can be broken down by the body. This new resin makes it possible to replicate important body parts exactly and make them fit precisely.

The resin can be given different properties depending on where in the body it is to be used. Cells can be sown and cultured on these models, so that the tissues grown are, in fact, produced by the body itself. The new resin has been developed by Ferry Melchels and Prof. Dirk Grijpma of the UT’s Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials research group. An article on this breakthrough will be appearing in the authoritative specialist journal, Biomaterials.

Stereolithography is a technology with which three-dimensional objects can be made from a digital design. It is also possible to scan an object using a CT scanner (or micro-CT scanner) to obtain a digital image. The object in question can subsequently be copied extremely accurately with a stereolithograph. A stereolithograph is therefore a 3D replicating machine with a very high resolution. The way it works is based on the local hardening of a liquid resin with computer-driven light. The resins available for stereolithography so far harden into chemical networks that cannot be broken down.

Resin

For the first time, researchers from the UT have developed a biodegradable resin that can be used for this replicating machine. They have made the resin in such a way that it can be broken down by the body. Making objects from this resin may have great advantages for a many medical applications. If, for example, a child has a heart valve disorder, a 3D digital image of the heart valve can be created using a CT scanner. The model in the stereolithograph can be copied exactly with the new resin. If the structure is made porous, the child’s own cells can be placed on it. This porosity also gives nutrients access to the cells. Ultimately, after the carrier structure has broken down, only the natural tissue remains. Another possibility is to use the resin to create structures for correcting skull defects. You can fabricate a shape very accurately using a stereolithograph. By growing the patient’s own cells on it, his or her own natural bone tissue will be regenerated.

Source: the University of Twente

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6 comments

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LariAnn
1 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2009
This is truly ground-breaking research. Whatever company begins producing this commercially, I hope it goes public so I can get stock in it. If this is as good as it sounds, many millionaires will be made from it as well as replicated organs!
Bob_B
1 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2009
Do not buy this stock.

Think:
1. you keep replacing your 'parts'
2. You must keep working to pay for them (unless you're Bill Gates)
3. You're now 112 years old, you are still working.
4. Repeat.

If you think people want to keep working and working and working then
invest. I think I'm tired of working and I'm just about 61. Living to 120? No thanks, another 40 or 50 years of work...no chance!
El_Nose
1 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2009
this did not mention life extension -- what organ do u replace for that -- this is to make issue with what needs to be replace work a bit better with out pure artificial replacements -- this gives things you grow into.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2009
If you think people want to keep working and working and working then
invest. I think I'm tired of working and I'm just about 61. Living to 120? No thanks, another 40 or 50 years of work...no chance!


Since the alternative is death I will take work. Work until you die it the norm in human history.

So you need to find a job that YOU can make interesting to you. Just trying to be the best at your job can make a huge difference in how you feel about your job.

How come you haven't figured this out by 61? At 58 I have known this for well over three decades. Learned it in my first job. A car wash.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
laserdaveb
not rated yet Jun 10, 2009
add some stem cells,(your own?),and get a brand new organ!....WOW!



Ethelred i agree! if we love our work there's plenty of time for retirement after we're dead!
Birthmark
not rated yet Aug 20, 2009
I want to live to be 1,000 or older. I mean look 200, even 100 years ago, there were no planes, cars, hardly any medicine, not much technology, no TV, no radio yet, just think what the world will be like 100 years, or 200 years from now. Also in just this century we'll learn more than we have in the past 20 centuries! Work, school, housing, life, technology, and everything else will be revolutionized and will be nothing like it is now.

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