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The University of South Australia Has Pointed Out That 3D Printing Can Cure Neurological Diseases


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On May 7, 2024, Associate Professor Matthew Griffith, a materials engineer atthe University of South Australia (UniSA), has developed a bio-ink that, combined with 3D printing technology, offers new hope for the treatment of neurological diseases, thereby helping to treat a wide range of neurological conditions.


Matthew Griffith, a materials engineer atthe University of South Australia, has proposed a new way of treating neurological diseases

Professor Griffith said "incurable diseases" such as blindness, deafness, chronic pain, epilepsy, motor neurone disease and Parkinson's disease could all be cured because the 3D printed bio-ink could repair damaged neurons in the human body.

Bioink developed by Dr. Griffith

Technology research and development background

According to the University of South Australia, around 3 billion people worldwide suffer from neurological disorders; Another 200 million are blind; One in five people suffer from chronic pain. All of these conditions are related to the misfiring of neurons, which leads to adverse changes in the brain, senses, and behavior.

Current technologies used to treat neurological disorders and blindness include deep brain stimulation and artificial retinas. However, because the electrodes are made of hard, inflexible materials such as metal and silicon, which are less biocompatible, the success rate of these techniques is limited.

As a result, researchers are exploring how 3D printing can be used to create more precise and effective treatments that bring more hope and improvement to patients.



△ Overall overview of bio-ink

3D printed bio-ink can repair damaged neurons

Professor Griffith said: "To help guide our research, we talked to a lot of patients affected by these diseases and a lot of clinicians who are trying to treat them. As we work together, we are all excited about the possibility of curing these diseases for the first time in human history."

Professor Griffith and his team at the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia are developing carbon-based biocompatible inks that can be 3D printed into soft, flexible devices. These devices can be surgically implanted and electronically communicate with neural networks as needed.

Griffith said, "Our goal is to reprogram injury and disease by printing inexpensive electronic devices that talk to our bodies in a language our bodies understand." Damaged or misactivated neurons can have catastrophic consequences, leading to blindness, paralysis, and a host of neurological diseases that we have no cure for. We believe that by developing clever organic e-ink, we can change that by 3D printing it into flexible devices that are able to talk to neurons, grow new nerve cells, and create artificial neural interfaces."

This innovation marks the continuous exploration and application of technology in the medical field, opening up new prospects for the treatment of neurological diseases.

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