3D printing is the process of creating a three-dimensional item by layering additive manufacturing processes. The origins of 3D printing may be traced historically to the 1980s with the introduction of stereolithography (SLA), which uses UV light to detect and also cross-link photosensitive fluids in specified patterns.
Following the success of SLA, numerous different types of 3D printing processes, such as inkjet printing, selective laser sintering, and fused deposition modeling, have emerged in recent decades. Starting with 3D models, 3D-printed items may take on practically any form or architecture. The intrinsic flexibility of 3D design has changed several fields of study and engineering. Biomedical applications are a particular field where 3D printing innovation has significant advantages.
Nanoscale Resolution by 3D Printing
Traditional 3D printing methods including inkjet printing, selective laser sintering, selective laser ablation, and fused deposition modeling seldom ever generate objects with resolutions less than a few microns. Although certain lithography-based processes may provide high resolution, they are only able to create sophisticated 3D architecture in the form of high-aspect-ratio 2D forms. Two-photon polymerization (TPP) enabled 3D printing is an exciting 3D printing method that is now capable of producing items with nanoscale resolution.
A near-infrared femtosecond laser is used in the TPP-based 3D printing technology to harden photoresist and create incredibly accurate 3D nanostructures. The resolution depends on the laser’s output strength, the length of the exposure, and the effectiveness of the TPP initiators. TPP-based 3D printing has already been used in several domains because of its excellent spatial resolution, but its use in broader biomedicine is limited by its lengthy production process as well as the absence of water-soluble initiators.
Medical Applications of Nanocomposites
Since the development of improved 3D printing procedures has hampered direct 3D printing technology at nanoscale resolutions, a more thorough option is to directly include nanomaterials into printable inks to build 3D nanocomposites. The characteristics of both the host matrices as well as the nanomaterials may be held concurrently in the printed nanocomposites by adding nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, graphene, and other nanoparticles to the host matrices. Simply said, the use of nanomaterials can change various biological qualities as well as mechanical properties, thermal insulation, and electrical conductivity. The link must exhibit strong printability, high-resolution possibility, as well as simplicity in processing and upkeep to effectively 3D print nanoparticles.
To get optimal printing performance and repeatability, qualities including stability, viscosity, as well as wettability should be modified. The main issue that has to be solved when printing nanomaterials is how easily they aggregate and precipitate when they dissolve in printable inks. Consequently, stabilization techniques, such as the use of stabilizing chemicals, are typically needed for printing nanomaterials to equally scatter them.
Advanced 3D printing techniques and equipment must be created to print with nanoscale resolution. Researchers must continue to work on the creation of new goods that might be created using 3D nano printing to be used in nanomedicine. The search for innovative 3D-printed biomaterials with great printability, as well as biocompatibility for healthcare uses, also needs to be given more attention.
To prevent the creation of large nanomaterial accumulation and precipitation during the printing process of nanocomposites, stabilizing techniques should be adjusted. The 3D-printed items might potentially be functionalized by adding post-printing processing.