Additive manufacturing of wearable medical devices
The Polytechnic School, Arizona State University
Dr. Xiangfan Chen is currently an Assistant Professor in Manufacturing Engineering in the Polytechnic School (TPS) and…
Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, is the process of fabricating a 3D object from a CAD model through the layering of materials. Originally used for industrial prototyping, it has become a tool for the manufacturing of objects that are difficult to produce through traditional methods. In recent decades, 3D printing has been applied in the medical field to manufacture a wide range of medical devices, including patient-specific prosthetics, customized biodegradable implants, and surgical tools. However, 3D printing wearable devices beyond the primarily mechanical medical parts still faces a number of challenges. Functional integration of the products goes far beyond the mere creation of complex 3D structures, and it requires biocompatible and biodegradable functional materials tailored to be printable for specific printing processes. For example, wearable devices for real-time health monitoring need a biocompatible, compact, and flexible electronics platform. The objective of this methods collection is: 1) to collect cutting-edge research focused on the development of novel 3D printing processes, materials, and design methodologies for wearable devices and implants; and 2) to provide detailed state-of-the-art protocols and procedures currently in use for material processing, device design, and fabrication.