3D Mineralization Printer
MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb was awarded a patent for “Three dimensional mineralization printer.”
Abstract Source: USPTO
Augmented three-dimensional (3D) printing systems and methods for constructing and mineralizing a hydrogel structure with defined geometry are disclosed. One example embodiment is a system for three-dimensional printing and mineralizing a polymer. The system includes a three-dimensional printer unit with a syringe extruder, a fluid delivery system operatively coupled to the three-dimensional printer unit, and a control unit. The control unit is operatively coupled to the three-dimensional printer unit and fluid delivery system, and is configured to (i) cause the three-dimensional printer unit to print a portion of a three-dimensional polymer object, (ii) cause the fluid delivery system to flush the portion of the three-dimensional polymer object with a fluid to mineralize the portion of the three-dimensional polymer object, and (iii) cause the three-dimensional printer unit to print a subsequent portion of the three-dimensional polymer object. Applications of embodiments include manufacturing of tooth, bone, and other biomaterial articles.