A biomedical engineering PhD student creates a device to improve recovery of spinal cord injury

Service Engineering

A biomedical engineering PhD student, Nina Petric-Gray from the University of Glasgow, has collaborated with Autodesk and HP to create a 3D-printed electroencephalography headset, to enhance the recovery of patient’s with spinal cord injury.

The device, designed to help restore hand function, has been created using Autodesk Fusion 360’s Generative Design software, in conjunction with the HP Multi Jet Fusion 4200 3D printer. The new headset leverages Function Electrical Stimulation, low energy electrical pulses to artificially create body movements in people who have been paralysed because of central nervous system distress.

“A biomedical engineering PhD student creates a 3D-printed electroencephalography headset to improve recovery of spinal cord injury.“

Currently, recovery for SCI patients in the UK takes place within hospitals due to the complexity of existing technology. However, the headset enables the patient’s to recover at home, which will significantly reduce the number of visitors to the hospital for treatment, as well as relieve strain on the NHS.

George Brasher, HP’s MD in the UK and Ireland, stated: “This is a fantastic example of the possibilities and potential of 3D printing in the health sector. We’re proud to be part of a project which aims to help aid the recovery of patients suffering with spinal cord injury and look forward to supporting Nina’s team in the coming stages of testing and manufacturing.”

Petric-Gray stated: “As the headset model evolved into something quite complex, it became clear that FDM printed models would no longer be suitable owing to the vast amounts of processing they required. The first time I saw the HP MJF printed headset I was blown away, it showed real progress from earlier models. It was perfect right out of the box, where others needed post-production touch-ups. Although we’re only in the prototyping phase, 3D printing absolutely has the necessary advantages to be the means of end product manufacture. The ability to produce something bespoke to the patient and in such a short timeframe is a win-win in manufacturing terms. The technology gives us the potential to print a headset that’s integrated, with both frame and electrodes printed as one unified part, without having to construct anything afterwards”.

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