Losing a limb is traumatic enough, but adjusting to a prosthetic device can be a brand new challenge in itself. Not only is the person getting used to working with an artificial limb, but those limbs can present complications. In fact, 40% of prosthetic device uses suffer from some kind of skin condition, as do non-amputee patients who use some sort of orthopedic device. This is due to the fact that these devices are typically quite difficult to clean, as they’re made from porous material and have complex geometries – especially 3D printed ones.
The conditions caused by these devices include dermatitis, folliculitis, or other fungal or bacterial infections. These aren’t just annoyances – if they progress to a serious state, they can cause permanent damage or even be fatal. The World Health Organization estimates that in the United States, nearly 100,000 people die from intrahospital infections every year, including skin infections.
Chilean startup Copper3D believes that it may have the solution to prosthetic- and orthopedic-caused skin problems. The answer: antibacterial 3D printing materials.
thumbnail courtesy of 3dprint.com