Researchers have a new 3D printing method for soft tissue engineering

Research scientist JeongHun Park. [Image courtesy of Georgia Tech]

A lab at Georgia Tech University has a new design method for soft tissue engineering that enables 3D printing medical devices.

Engineers in Scott Hollister’s lab are 3D-printing personalized airway support devices made from a biocompatible polyester. This material — called polycaprolactone (PCL) — already has approval from the FDA. Researchers use selective laser sintering to heat powdered polyester and bind it together.

According to Georgia Tech, PCL has the disadvantage of relatively stiff and linear mechanical properties. Because of this, its applications have yet to reach some critical biomedical needs like soft tissue engineering.

However, Jeong Hun Park, a research scientist in Hollister’s lab, led a team that successfully applied PCL to soft tissue engineering. The secret? Park says “3D auxetic design.̶…

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