The 3D printing technology is constantly being innovated by dedicated scientists and researchers to improve its many applications in the field of engineering, manufacturing and medicine. The research center of the National University of La Plata in Argentina, LIFIA, created a special 3D printer head that has the ability to control two syringes thus allowing medical researcher to print biopolymers with complicated geometric patterns. This new innovation won an award and received funding for further development from the Ministry of Science and Technology in Argentina.
Lead researcher, Sergio Katz, noted that the idea of developing a special printer head came from the need to design a system that can control the layering of biopolymers. With the new printer head, the biopolymers create a new hydrocolloidal matrix which makes it easier for the polymers to align. This technology, if perfected, can be used in various applications in the field of medicine and these include customized drug administration.
Currently, this printer head is able to create bioprinted patches that can be easily attached to specific organs for better drug administration. The patches can also be used in nanotechnology and biotechnology.
The new 3D printer comes with dual extruders that are attached to a motor and movable support. As the motor rotates, a contraption moves up and down in order to control the plunger of the syringe. A silicone tube is found at the end of each syringe that carries the liquid directly to the head. With this new technology, this new printer head will definitely revolutionize 3D medical printing in the future.