3D printing 'can allow for customised interventional radiology treatments'

Engineering

A team from the US have demonstrated the potential of 3D printing technology delivering interventional radiology treatments that are tailored to individual patient needs.

The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center researchers have been able to combine 3D printing techniques and resorbable bioplastics to develop customised bioactive filaments, chemotherapy beads and catheters and stents containing antibiotics or chemotherapeutic agents.

“A new study has demonstrated the potential of 3D printing technology in offering customisable interventional radiology treatments.“

A subsequent test of these 3D-printed devices in cell cultures demonstrated their ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria and cancer cells, suggesting further studies may be warranted.

This opens the door for future medical devices to be crafted to accommodate patients' unique anatomies and specific medicine requirements. As tools in interventional radiology, they can be used as part of treatment options that are less invasive than traditional surgery.

Additionally, this could facilitate the printing of biodegradable filaments, catheters and stents that can help patients avoid the need to undergo a second procedure or treatment.

Horacio D'Agostino, lead researcher and an interventional radiologist at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, said: "3D printing gives us the ability to craft devices that are better suited for certain patient populations that are traditionally tough to treat, such as children and the obese, who have different anatomy."

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