Layer manufacturing for in vivo devices
2009-05-21T13:30:14Z (GMT) by
Traditional in vivo devices fabricated to be used as implantation devices included sutures, plates, pins, screws, and joint replacement implants. Also, akin to developments in regenerative medicine and drug delivery, there has been the pursuit of less conventional in vivo devices that demand complex architecture and composition, such as tissue scaffolds. Commercial means of fabricating traditional devices include machining and moulding processes. Such manufacturing techniques impose considerable lead times and geometrical limitations, and restrict the economic production of customized products. Attempts at the production of non-conventional devices have included particulate leaching, solvent casting, and phase transition. These techniques cannot provide the desired total control over internal architecture and compositional variation, which subsequently restricts the application of these products. Consequently, several parties are investigating the use of freeform layer manufacturing techniques to overcome these difficulties and provide viable in vivo devices of greater functionality. This paper identifies the concepts of rapid manufacturing (RM) and the development of biomanufacturing based on layer manufacturing techniques. Particular emphasis is placed on the development and experimentation of new materials for bio-RM, production techniques based on the layer manufacturing concept, and computer modelling of in vivo devices for RM techniques.