As a professor in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Utah, Dr. Yong Lin Kong is focused on developing novel additive manufacturing technologies to create unique interwoven architecture and devices that can’t be created using conventional fabrication methods. By using a multi-scale, multi-material 3D-printing approach, Dr. Kong explains that the geometrical, mechanical and material difficulties present in conventional methods can be overcome, allowing for the creation of a broad range of 3D biomedical devices that can address a range of clinical needs. For example, one use case of this technology is ingestible electronics, which will not only allow for surgical integration of electronics in the human body to be bypassed but also circumvent the inherent immune system response that would identify and attack such systems as foreign to the body.
The 3D-printing approach is also superior to conventional manufacturing processes in that it allows for the personalization of biomedical devices, tailored gastric residence time periods, and controlled dosage and release of drug compounds in the body. Dr. Kong makes for an insightful and compelling discussion, explaining the details of all this and more, including important safety measures for this technology, such as on-demand device disintegration in the event that an individual has a negative reaction to a device, how this approach could allow for the integration of electronic functionality into various prosthetics and regeneration implants, and what’s next on their itinerary.
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