Design Boom reports that researchers from the University of Wollongong’s Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science have developed a handheld ‘biopen’.
This device will give doctors the ability to design “customized implants on-site and at the time of surgery.” The biopen uses a similar method to 3D printing by delivering the 3D printed “cell material inside a biopolymer such as a seaweed extract, protected by a second outer layer of gel material. It works when two layers of gel are combined in the pen head, extruding onto the bone surface. The surgeon then ‘draws’ with the ink to fill in the damaged bone section.”
The development of this biopen builds upon recent work by ACES researchers “where they were able to grow new knee cartilage from stem cells on 3D printed scaffolds to treat cancers, osteoarthritis, and traumatic injury.”
Photo and Quotes Courtesy of Design Boom