Using a 3D Systems ProJet MJP high-resolution 3D printer, Potomac was able to get the very small, precise geometries needed with tight tolerances.

3D 打印常作为制造替代残肢的修补物的工艺出现在新闻中。这种选择毫无疑问,特别是在结合了 3D 扫描的情况下,因为它使设计师能够制作符合每位患者独特身体需求的假肢。

At Potomac Photonics, experts in micro-manufacturing solutions, the team are also finding more and more unique applications to micro 3D print small implantable prosthetics using the ProJet Multi Jet (MJP) 3D printer. In one recent project they were asked to make the tiny elements of the middle ear to help develop prosthesis for otosclerosis disease.

This printer uses MultiJet printing technology to deliver robust, durable high-quality plastic parts and has accuracy of layers as small as 32 microns. This neat and clever platform is easy to use and has a range of material choices including ABS-like plastic; translucent, blue and black materials; and choices of high-strength, highly flexible and very tough plastics. This makes it a very good platform for highly accurate prototypes and end use parts of many kinds and sizes, including automotive, aerospace, and, of course, medical devices.

据美国耳鼻喉科学院 – 头颈外科学会 [AAO-HNS] 所说,听是一种复杂的过程,它在本质上是动态的。声波的振动通过鼓膜传递至中耳的三块小骨骼。这种骨骼通常被称为镫骨,用于促使内耳液体流动,从而开始听觉过程。美国国立卫生研究院的国立耳聋与其他交流障碍性疾病研究所解释道,耳硬化症是人体组织的异常硬化。在人一生的新骨组织再生过程中,偶尔会发生异常骨“重塑”。如果异常骨重塑发生在镫骨周围,它将被固定,无法产生正常听觉所需的振动。

AAO-HNS 估计,在全球高加索成人人群中,有整整 10% 的人患有耳硬化症,NIH 认为美国有超过 3 百万个病例。没有可用的药物治疗,助听器仅对轻度症状有效,大多数患者在 20 多岁便已确诊,然后就造成了终生的困扰。因此,尝试开发假体解决方案成为重中之重。Monika Kwacz 是波兰华沙技术大学微观力学和光子学研究所的研究员,她一直在研究镫骨足板造孔术的效果,带领其团队开发出新的镫骨修补物。Monika 解释道:“直觉告诉我 3D 打印将是最适合初始原型设计的技术。我们需要使用初始原型试验设备几何形状的设计是否合理以及能否将设备植入到颞骨中。如果几何形状适用,我们将检查设备的机械操作。但是,如果发现设备几何形状需要修改,3D 打印可帮助在 CAD 设计步骤中轻松进行修改。”

Monika had tried another 3D printing process but it could not meet the precise requirement of the stapes design. Using a 3D Systems ProJet MJP high-resolution 3D printer, Potomac was able to get the very small, precise geometries she needed with tight tolerances. Turnaround, even shipping across the pond to Europe, was quick.

考虑到零部件的尺寸较小,验证设计后,短期 3D 打印生产运行也可能是经济可行的。同时,Potomac Photonics 将与 Monika 合作开发微观 3D 打印解决方案,使耳硬化症患者能够听到音乐。

Micro-manufacture of ear implants made possible with Mukti Jet 3D printing by 3D Systems