3D Print reports on a 3D printed wound care product developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT is “a top research and technology company in the Nordic countries.”
The company is now “studying cellulose nanofibrils (nanocellulose or CNFs), which can improve bio-based 3D printing pastes as the variety and range of paste 3D printing materials is limited, for the purpose of developing a 3D [printed] wound care product to monitor the condition of patients’ wounds while in the hospital. Nanofibrils are an alternative to using chemicals.
In collusion with the University of Tampere, VTT aims to grow healthy skin cells around a wound. In order to achieve this goal, VTT “creates a solution where a protein attaches to a 3D printed adhesive bandage to facilitate this growth – this way, the healed area around the wound will stay flexible, instead of growing scar tissue.”
VTT’s Senior Scientist Panu Lahtinen explains, “by using nanocellulose, we have succeeded in creating 3D structures that absorb liquids three times more efficiently than the compared alginate fiber dressings commonly used in wound care.”
The measurement electrodes were 3D printed using silver ink. This provides “connection points for VTT’s wireless FlexNode reader, onto a polyurethane-nanocellulose film; the reader, which can be attached to the patient’s wound with gauze, transmits temperature from the wound into a computer, in theory so a patient’s health care team could use it instantly. A second laminated layer of film protects the electrodes, and the 3D printed wound care gel, with active ingredients of alginate, glycerol, and nanocellulose, sits on top of that.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3DPrint