A great deal has been done for medical science by 3D printing. In addition to better prosthetics, artificial vertebrae, it has also assisted in creating smaller internal cameras. Afterward, it might be capable of helping us update medication delivery. An innovative 3D-printing method is being used by MIT researchers in order to develop minute structures that change shape at particular temperatures, thereby introducing a new drug delivery system that only medicates patients if they have a fever.
Temperature sensitive pills have not been manufactured yet; however the technology is halfway there. Researchers have developed tiny structures that can “remember” particular shapes through the combination of a new 3D-printing process known as “microstereolithography” with a special polymer mix that hardens or softens based on different thermal conditions. These objects can be molded to a specific shape at one temperature, “locked” to that shape at another temperature and will return to their original form at yet another temperature. In addition to this, printed objects can be stretched and twisted up to three times their original length without breaking.
Structures as thin as a human hair can be made by this new printing process due to its high resolution. Although a little complicated, its possibilities are rather wide-ranging. The team hopes to use it to create biomedical devices, shape-changing solar cells and aerospace components, however the team isn’t fairly there yet. Nonetheless, progress is being made as the technology has been used by the group to not only create a minute, intricately detailed replica of the Eiffel tower, but also a tool capable of grabbing and lifting small objects has been developed. It’s a beginning though.