AM ResearchBioprintingDrug Discovery & DevelopmentMedical AMRegenerative Medicine

3D printing shows potential to cure neurological diseases

Thanks to bio-inks developed by Dr. Griffith from the University of South Australia (UniSA)

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

According to the University of South Australia’s (UniSA) materials engineer Associate Professor Matthew Griffith, ‘incurable’ diseases such as blindness, deafness, chronic pain, epilepsy, motor neuron disease, and Parkinson’s disease, could all be cured thanks to 3D printed bio-inks that sit inside the human body and restore damaged neurons.

Dr. Griffith and his team at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute are creating carbon-based biocompatible inks – 3D printed into soft flexible devices – that can be surgically implanted and electronically communicate with the neural network, on demand.

“The aim is to reprogram injury and diseases out of existence by printing cheap, electronic devices that can talk to our bodies in a language it understands,” said Dr. Griffith. “Damaged or misfiring neurons have catastrophic consequences, resulting in blindness, paralysis, and a whole host of neurological disorders that we have not been able to cure. We believe we can change this by developing clever, organic electronic inks, which we can 3D print into flexible devices that are able to talk to neurons, grow new nerve cells, and create artificial neural interfaces.”

Current technologies being deployed for neurological conditions and blindness include deep brain stimulation and artificial retinas. However, they have had limited success because the electrodes are made from hard, inflexible materials like metals and silicon that have poor biocompatibility.

According the University of South Australia, around three billion people suffer from neurological conditions worldwide; another 200 million are blind; and one in five people live with chronic pain. All are related to neurons misfiring, resulting in undesirable changes to the brain, senses, and behavior.

“To help guide our research, we talk to a lot of patients that are affected by these disorders, and a lot of clinicians trying to treat them. What we are all excited about as we work together on this journey is the potential to cure these diseases for the first time in human history,” said Dr. Griffith.

Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services


Join our 12,000+ Professional community and get weekly AM industry insights straight to your inbox. Our editor-curated newsletter equips executives, engineers, and end-users with crucial updates, helping you stay ahead.