Anti-microbial and Super-hydrophobic Personalized Medical Assistive Devices (splints and casts) based on Nanostructured Materials
Objective: Development of customized orthopedic assistive device with antimicrobial properties and super hydrophobic surfaces by exploiting the principle of 3D printing combined with the use of active polymers and plasma assisted surface modifications.
BeActive is one of the various solutions that it was possible to create within the broader AMable project (Additive Manufacturable solutions) dedicated to finding solutions through the use of AM technologies (https://www.amable.eu/solutions/cases).
In this context, BeActive aims at the development of customized orthopedic aids together with the development of composite thermoplastic materials with advanced functions, and new generation surface treatments.
With constant improvements in the composition of the filaments to be used in FFF-type 3D printing systems, and in the design and operational efficiency, characteristic of rapid prototyping, innovative approaches are implemented for the development of multifunctional devices capable of adapting to the anatomical characteristics of each patient.
The use of new polymers and customized design for the treatment of patients with particular physical-clinical characteristics becomes advantageous in order to avoid secondary effects due to allergies, incompatibilities and standard geometries which often cause sores and skin lacerations.
Furthermore, the 3D BeActive devices aim to overcome the problems associated with the increase in bacterial growth often associated with the use of traditional devices, with even serious consequences, through the use of composite filaments with antimicrobial properties, obtained thanks to the incorporation of active fillers, and thanks to super-hydrophobic surfaces obtained with the use of cold plasma.
If required by the individual anatomical characteristics of each patient, the devices can be dynamic and therefore mechanically reactive with the aim of reducing treatment times and subsequent healing, thus improving patients’ quality of life.