Summary of the technology
The 3D Additive Manufacturing Machine developed for tubular medical devices is based on the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and the 3-axis 3D printing technologies. The filament is melted into the extruder nozzle, which deposited the material onto a heated computer-controlled platform.
Description of the technology
Although metallic stents are effective in preventing acute occlusion and reducing late restenosis after coronary angioplasty, many concern still remain. The role of stenting is temporary and is limited to the intervention and shortly thereafter, until healing and re-endothelialization are obtained. Bioresorbable stents (BRS) were introduced to overcome these limitations with important advantages: complete bioresorption, mechanical flexibility, does not produce imaging artefacts in non-invasive imaging modalities, etc.
Biodegradable stents offer the potential to improve long-term patency rates by providing support just long enough for the artery to heal. Nowadays in the stent industry the manufacture process par excellence is the laser micro cutting. Nevertheless in the case of polymeric stents, the 3D additive manufacturing techniques could be a more economical solution.
Recently, three-dimensional (3D) printing, a specific technique in the biomedical field, has emerged as an alternative system for producing biomaterials. The 3D printing system, applied to rapid prototyping in structural fabrication can easily manufacture biomaterials, such as BRS, better than other devices. Additionally, 3D-printing offers a more efficient process for assembling all of the necessary components, such as the vascular artificial scaffold.
The 3D Additive Manufacturing Machine developed is based on the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and the 3-axis 3D printing technologies. The filament is melted into the extruder nozzle, which deposited the material onto a heated computer-controlled rotatory Cartesian platform. The machine provides a precision of 0.9375 µm in the X axis, 0.028125º in the W axis, 0.3125 in the Z axis, and 0.028125º in the extruder. The nozzle provides 0.4 mm of diameter
With this technology is possible to reduce the steps required for the conventional manufacturing of stents to only two (stent printing and sterilization), which implies a reduction of lead-time and material costs.
Current development status
Prototype available for demonstration
Intellectual property status
Other forms of protection
Desired business relationship
Universitat de Girona
Technology Transfer Office
About Universitat de Girona
Technology Transfer Office from SpainUniversitat de Girona
The University of Girona (UdG) by means of its Research & Technology Transfer Office (TTO) provides services to 117 research groups, 42 of which have been recognized as Consolidated Research Group of Catalonia and 4 among them have been incorporated into the TECNIO network, the top Catalonia's Government excellence research network.