3D additive manufacturing machine for tubular medical devices for technical cooperation or license agreements
A Spanish research group has developed a 3D additive manufacturing machine for tubular medical devices, based in the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and the 3-axis 3D printing technologies. The group is seeking stents manufacturers for technical cooperation agreement to co-develop the technology and license agreement to bring it to the market.
Stents manufacturer to collaborate under a technical cooperation agreement in the development of the technology and/or license agreements to bring it to the market.
A research group of Spanish university has developed a 3D additive manufacturing machine specially thought for tubular devices such stents. Metallic stents are effective in preventing acute occlusion and reducing late restenosis after coronary angioplasty but many concern still remain. The role of stenting is temporary and is limited to the intervention and shortly thereafter, until healing and re-endothelialization are obtained. Bioresorbable stents (BRS) were introduced to overcome these limitations with important advantages: complete bioresorption, mechanical flexibility, does not produce imaging artefacts in non-invasive imaging modalities, etc. Biodegradable stents offer the potential to improve long-term patency rates by providing support just long enough for the artery to heal. Nowadays in the stent industry the manufacture process par excellence is the laser micro cutting. Nevertheless, in the case of polymeric stents, the 3D additive manufacturing techniques could be a more economical solution. Recently, three-dimensional (3D) printing, a specific technique in the biomedical field, has emerged as an alternative system for producing biomaterials. The 3D printing system, applied to rapid prototyping in structural fabrication can easily manufacture biomaterials, such as BRS, better than other devices. The machine developed by the research group is based in the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and the 3-axis 3D printing technologies. The filament is melted into the extruder nozzle, which deposited the material onto a heated computer-controlled rotatory Cartesian platform. The machine provides a precision of 0.9375 µm in the X axis, 0.028125º in the W axis, 0.3125 in the Z axis, and 0.028125º in the extruder. The nozzle provides 0.4 mm of diameter. The research group is looking for stents manufacturers to finish the development phase and test it under technical cooperation agreement. License agreements are also sought to bring the technology to the market.
Advantages and innovations
Comparing to the nowadays technologies used for the stent manufacturing, this technology allows to reduce the required steps to only two (stent printing and sterilization), which implies a reduction of lead-time and material costs.
Prototype available for demonstration
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
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