Design News you can use. I have just been diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. I'm 66 years old and was planning a long retirement after a career as an automotive engineer. Now the prognosis is 3 to 5 years with the possibility of a lung transplant in the future. There is currently no cure.
I will be following this project with great interest.
Doug, excelent article, I wish if in addition to the interdicipline mentioned in another post, at some point there is an story about the equipment used for the CAD design and the Additive Manufacturing.
Hi Alex. I am the lead researcher on the work and Doug asked me to log in and comment about our research team. Our cross-disciplinary team involves the following:
* One specialist in microfabrication and microfluidics (myself)
* One cardiothoracic surgeon and one pulmonary physician
* Two experts in bio- and blood- compatible coatings
* One expert in biomimetic artificial vasculature who also has some previous experience in artificial lung design.
As you can see, we have quite a wide array of backgrounds which are all needed to make this project a success. However, as part of this project, we are all experiencing some cross training which is making us better at what we do as well.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
I absolutely agree Ohms. The human body is a wonder that no engineer or scientist could ever begin to replicate in a meaningful way. The great advance I described at CWRU only lasts a few hours in the lab. We are taking steps tinier than the tiniest baby steps. And even those accomplishments are inspiring.
Any attempt to mimic human parts will be humbled by the truly amazing human ability for reliability, performance and size and certainly requires expertise in dozens of fields of science.
Considering we can survive contstant attack of viruses and bacteria and other parasites. Also we don't often rust, or need a power flush, routine change of antifreeze or need CLR flush treatments and use nano-osmotic effects to exchange CO2 for O2 and aren't affected much by microwave and RF ringing thru our lungs and can cough sputum if needed.... and oh ya have an automatic or manual feature with a lifetime warranty on the air pump in our bellies.
.... a man-made design has a tough job to mimic a lung, in literaly hundreds of different chemical/physical properties.
There is usually great interdisciplinary involvement in these types of projects. Usually mechanical engineers are involved. And yes, these people really know their stuff. They are plumbing whole new depths of knowledge unknown in traditional corporate development projects. I have been really impressed with the level of understanding these groups have in areas of polymer science where corporations have largely given up --- polymers for implants. I touched on this recently in another post. Very specialized groups are operating under the radar to develop bioresorbable polymers for implants, for example. This project also shows the tremendous potential for additive manufacturing in microfluidics.
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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