Luis, E, Pan, HM, Sing, SL, Bajpai, R, Song, J and Yeong, WY (2020) 3D Direct Printing of Silicone Meniscus Implant Using a Novel Heat-Cured Extrusion-Based Printer. Polymers, 12 (5). ISSN 2073-4360

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The first successful direct 3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), of heat-cured silicone meniscal implants, using biocompatible and bio-implantable silicone resins is reported. Silicone implants have conventionally been manufactured by indirect silicone casting and molding methods which are expensive and time-consuming. A novel custom-made heat-curing extrusion-based silicone 3D printer which is capable of directly 3D printing medical silicone implants is introduced. The rheological study of silicone resins and the optimization of critical process parameters are described in detail. The surface and cross-sectional morphologies of the printed silicone meniscus implant were also included. A time-lapsed simulation study of the heated silicone resin within the nozzle using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was done and the results obtained closely resembled real time 3D printing. Solidworks one-convection model simulation, when compared to the on-off model, more closely correlated with the actual probed temperature. Finally, comparative mechanical study between 3D printed and heat-molded meniscus is conducted. The novel 3D printing process opens up the opportunities for rapid 3D printing of various customizable medical silicone implants and devices for patients and fills the current gap in the additive manufacturing industry.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Uncontrolled Keywords: 3D printing; additive manufacturing; material extrusion; silicone; meniscus implant
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education. Medical schools. Research
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Primary, Community and Social Care
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 12:15
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 12:15

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