When disaster strikes, this Irish-based team Med3DP prints 3D medical devices
For more than a decade now, 3D printing as a concept has promised a revolution in everything from construction to food production but, on the surface, you might think things haven’t changed much.
This couldn’t be further from the case, however, particularly in medicine where 3D printers have set in motion a future where many of us are already cyborgs – humans with replacement body parts specifically printed to suit our individual needs.
Perhaps one of the most striking examples of its potential was recently seen at Inspirefest 2017 when NUI Galway research fellow Dr Ellen Roche showed her ingenious solution to print a soft robotic silicone sleeve to keep a heart pumping inside the body.
But not everything needs to be as complex as this, as the team from Med3DP at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has shown time and again.
Since it began, the group has built a wide range of projects complete with ready-to-print files, documentation and other helpful information for anyone else in an affected disaster zone, so that they can jump right in and start printing devices.
Anyone who visited Inspirefest this summer may have seen some of their creations first-hand, including a working stethoscope to let people listen to their own heartbeat.
One of those from Med3DP was Pooja Mandal from India, who is undertaking an MSc in bioengineering at TCD with a specialisation in tissue engineering and stem cells.
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, Mandal said that the device templates they are creating can be vital when second-hand medical devices get broken during transit or are lost.
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by: Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com