Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Additive Manufacturing of Biomedical Devices 

The broad goal of this project is to design and develop patient specific, customizable as well as complex 3D anatomical shapes from biodegradable ceramics, metals and biodegradable metal-polymer composites with hierarchical porous structures mimicking the macroscopic and internal microstructure of various and specific organs and tissues while also providing the temporary functional mechanical and structural attributes as well as mass transport properties using the binder-jetting 3D printing technique. We have utilized 3-D inject printing, Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and extrusion methods to fabricate various resorbable bone scaffolds. The materials that were used to print these bone scaffolds include iron and magnesium based alloys, ceramics and biopolymers. For examples, we have used calcium phosphate powders in a 3D inject printer to generate rod-shaped scaffolds having interconnected pores on the center and surface of the implants. In-vivo results clearly demonstrated the efficacy of these porous scaffolds for bone-regeneration. Research has been focused on assessing the in vitro degradation, mechanical, and cytocompatibility properties of the 3D-printed samples fabricated using novel patent pending biodegradable Fe based alloy powders. Fe powder was also used to study the mechanical properties of novel engineered biomimetic rotating plywood designs. We applied the rotated plywood structure of bone tissue to generate a biomimetic 3-D printed scaffold with the goal of improving the mechanical performance compared to an orthogonal mesh design commonly used in tissue scaffold applications. Electron beam melting (EBM) of pure Mg powder was also carried out and the results demonstrated the feasibility of this technique to generate 3D constructs of Mg.

Additive Manufacturing of Biomedical Devices

3D printed scaffolds.

  1. ACTA BIOMATERIALIA 9(10), 8593 (2013).
  2. ACTA BIOMATERIALIA 45, 375 (2016).
  3. ACS BIOMATER. SCI. ENG. 3, 648 (2017).