I-Corps: Volumetric Light-Assisted Manufacturing of Dental Implants and Tissue Scaffolds

Project: Research project

Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is the development of a biomanufacturing tool for dental products. To date, most dental implants have been made by selective application of a single starting material by making a specific mold for each case. The main limitations of such approaches are low fabrication speeds, significant labor costs, and lack of stability in materials that are produced. It is crucial to achieve a high fabricate rate and stable constructs without limiting the desired function of the implant or tissue scaffold. An ideal dental implant fabrication method should make molds within minutes. Modern 3D printing techniques and proper material selection enable this technology to rebuild portions of lost tissue.This I-Corps project is based on the development of a customizable, light-assisted, 3D printing platform that allows for quick fabrication of polymer-based inks and hydrogels. The technology will be used to fabricate stable and functional (dental) implants. Such polymeric inks are based on photoresponsive molecules in the material. This technology will use ultraviolet (UV) crosslinking of methacrylate groups in conventional hydrogels or polymer precursors for long-term stability of the selected implant. Advantages of this technology include: a modular chamber for multi-component biomaterials; very rapid fabrication of implants, scaffolds, and surgical tools; a significant level of control creation, and a low-cost product.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date8/15/2211/30/23


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


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