FEMTOprint, headquartered in Muzzano, Switzerland, has recently partnered with Galatea Lab, Instant Lab(EPFL, Switzerland), and the Jules-Gonin Ophthalmic Hospital (Lausanne, Switzerland) to explore how 3D printing can further the med-tech industry.
In creating a consortium for developing new innovations together, this team of researchers has created a glass-based compliant puncture tool for retinal vein occlusion. RVO is a vascular condition that affects the retina and can result in substantial loss of vision. With 16 million patients suffering from RVO (usually individuals over 50) around the world, there is a definite need for a greater focus on research and progress in this area. The research team began by asking themselves what types of applications they could 3D print on the micro-scale, as well as how new tools could help in fighting a disease such as RVO.
They answered with a 3D printable tool for retinal vein cannulation. The new device operates on a buckling mechanical principle which allows surgeons to cannulate veins with accuracy. Precision is especially key during the cannulation process as it can be a difficult and even risky procedure due to the fragile tissue and corresponding sensitive puncture force which must be employed.
thumbnail courtesy of 3dprint.com