Greek researchers at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) have 3D printed patches with wound healing properties, based on fruit. According to their article in Pharmaceutics they have taken 3D printable in based on pectin, a substance found in berries, apples, and other fruit, that forms free standing films that treat shallow wounds.
“The application of traditional dressings, like cotton bandages or gauzes, absorb the moisture contained by the wound, leading to dehydration of the wound surface, and subsequently decreasing the healing rate,” the research states. “ Free-standing transparent films that disintegrate upon contact with aqueous media were developed via 3D bioprinting [where] the antimicrobial and wound-healing activities of the fabricated dressing were effectually enhanced by the incorporation of particles.”
Traditional dressing like cotton swabs and gauze tend to absorb moisture from the wound and decrease the natural healing time. AUTh alternate dressing with films, foams, and gels have proven to be more effective for wound-healing due to the ability to maintain moisture in a wound. Furthermore, traditional dressing have to be change within certain time frames to reduce the chance of toxic infections. AUTh’s dressing uses natural, non-toxic bioink that include apple pectin, manuka honey and propolis extract, a resin-like material made by bees, to avoid infection and contamination.
This was mixed with dermal fibroblasts cells which generate connective tissue. The researchers observed that the antimicrobial and wound‐healing properties of the fabricated films were enhanced by the addition of propolis.
Following experimentation of various solutions, the study concluded that “3D printing is a significant platform that can be used for the production of films and patches in complex geometries, in a controlled manner. This fact makes the use of this technology advantageous compared to traditional techniques for the production of patches, like the solvent‐casting method.”
Essop, Anas, et al. “Researchers Develop 3D Printable Wound Dressings Based on Fruit.” 3D Printing Industry, 20 Jan. 2020, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/researchers-develop-3d-printable-wound-dressings-based-on-fruit-167452/.