The power of creative thinking and ingenuity of problem solving with new technologies have a strong need in today and especially tomorrows research. Young students must be met with challenging problems allowing them to create their own solutions much like a branching path. Discovering new solutions as they develop their idea.
Engineering has never been more a part of biomedical research as it has in the past five years. With 3D Printing in medical science being utilized as early as the 1990's research developing new technologies is ever growing, now more than before.
Right on the heels of NewCastle University researchers development for the worlds first 3D printed corneas. A team at Washington State University (WSU) have developed a new technology to help the visually impaired with medical treatments. After 18 months of research the team at WSU developed a 3D printed contact lens that would serve as a cheaper substitute to laser eye surgery.
Alternative therapies are in needed more every year with 35 million people in America affected by age related eye disease in 2010. With those numbers expected to grow to 70 million by 2050. Diabetic retinopathy affects roughly one third of the world's diabetics is one example of said diseases.
Researchers at WSU took the challenge of such delicate circumstances. Proposing to use SLA 3D-printing, allowing for the ability of each micro-needle device to be custom made for each patients condition. They have developed a direct method for treatment using micro-needle arrays. Which unlike hypodermic needles, micro-needles create less of an invasion into the body. With the added benefit of delivering the drug over an extended period of time their method of treatment improve performance and reduce the risk of side effects.
With such promising research to create better solutions. What will our students innovate tomorrow with the skills they learn today?