The Catalyst Frame Microscope – another miracle of 3D printing

3D printing is revolutionizing the standards of living by a great degree, and here we have another example, to show the true power, might and potential of 3D printing. Jing Luo, an American entrepreneur, who also hold a Graduate degree from University of California (Berkeley), is in the process of producing a portable, user-friendly and accurate microscope that works through your smartphone.

Does Jing Luo, have a Working Prototype?

Luo is currently on the fourth prototype of the Catalyst Frame Microscope, as he has called his creation. This simple construction attaches to the back of your smartphone and works through your camera software. The lens incorporated in this microscope has a magnification range of 30/50/170 or 30/170/340, dependent on the quality of your camera.

What is the Range of Magnification?

As Luo explains – ‘Magnification combines with a multiplicative effect, so if you were to combine a 2x lens with a 3x lens you’d get a total of 6x. The same applies here, the 340x optical magnification combines with the 4.5x digital magnification to get a total of 1530x magnification.’

This means that the range of magnification truly depends on the maximum digital magnification potential of your smartphone’s camera. Looking at ongoing trends in the Smartphone market, every other day new phones are arriving with better cameras, so that makes the range of this Catalyst Frame Microscope, virtually infinite!

However, the images cannot be infinitely magnified; past the maximum resolution the sight will just become blurry, but the creator hopes that this will change, with future models.

The current construction, does however, enable just about the best magnification a portable microscope can offer. It is aimed at (biology) enthusiasts, doctors, scientists in developing countries, and people working outside laboratories, and runs on two AAA batteries which are just about universally available.

For more information and to be a part of the Crowdfunding campaigns, please follow the links below;

Kickstarter Campaign

Indiegogo Campaign

Note: Url’s above have been shortened with the help of P.PW URL Shortening Service, they are Clean and Safe to browse

Worlds first 3D printed elbow replacement

A new medical application for 3D printing technology was recently successfully implemented in the academic hospital of the Jilin University in Changchun, Northern China. In this case, a specifically developed 3D printed elbow was surgically implemented in the arm of a 48-year-old woman suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This is the first case ever where 3D printing technology has been successfully used in elbow replacement surgery.

The 48-year-old Leng Cai Feng, a farm worker, had been living from this condition for more than twenty-five years. She explained that this did not bother her at all when it was first diagnosed. ‘It is common for farm workers to have rheumatoid arthritis, and I did not really care about it in at the beginning. It was not a serious handicap, and while I always had sore joints during spring and autumn, it did not affect my work.’

However, her condition worsened considerably three years ago. Leng explained that she suddenly became completely unable to move her knee and elbow, while her entire right her arm became stiff and almost impossible to move. Her left side, meanwhile, became only capable of performing very simple movements and activities. Furthermore, her left elbow and knee became covered in lesions. All this severely affected the quality of her life, as it left her almost entirely paralyzed and unable to take care of herself. She spent her days lying bed, relying on her family to feed her.

Having ran of options, she was admitted to the orthopaedic department of Changchun’s academic hospital of Jilin University. There, doctor Chen Bingpeng diagnosed her and arranged for her to undergo bilateral knee replacement surgery. While this several elevated her walking difficulties –she was able to walk again within twenty days – her arms seemed like a hopeless case. Damage to her elbows and bone structure was severe, which made it virtually impossible to properly implement conventional prosthetic joints.

As Leng explained, she thought it was simply ‘game over’ for her arms. However, she came into contact with Orthopaedic Hospital Professor Wang JinCheng soon afterwards, who convinced her to cooperate in a 3D printing experiment. He explained to her that ‘3D printing technology can achieve the positive postoperative results for a bilateral elbow replacement surgery that conventional prosthetics can’t.’

After repeated testing with prostheses in practise scenarios, her bilateral elbow replacement surgery was successfully completed in early May of this year. The 3D printed elbow prosthesis exactly matched Leng Cai Feng’s bone structure, and all the steps the surgeons practised were a success.

Surgery began in the patient’s right arm, with an incision of approximately 10 cms across her elbow. Professor Wang Jincheng carefully separated the patient’s anconeus and triceps muscles, before removing the distal end of her humurus and the upper end of her ulna. The surgeon explained that these parts of the elbow were seriously deformed due to the patient’s condition. These where then replaced with the 3D printed prosthesis. After some stitching, the surgery was complete.

Her recovery was also quick. ‘Just five days after the surgery, I could drink from the cup I could hold myself.’ Leng said. She has since recovered completely and the quality of her life has severely been improved. As she excitedly explained, ‘I can freely move my arms, I can work and cook!’

This successful surgery is another pioneering step that 3D printing technology has brought to the medical profession. As Professor Wang explained, ‘The success of the operation was not only the first time 3D printing technology was used in this academic hospital, but also the first time this technology was every used for artificial joint elbow replacement surgery. It’s a world record.’

The successful surgeon went on to emphasize the many positive aspects attached to 3D printing technology. ‘Bilateral elbow 3D printing is a customized order. Just like tailor-made cloths are a better fit than store-bought mass productions, prosthetics are the best match.’ To achieve this, they made a three-dimensional CT scan of the patients limbs, and sent that data to a Beijing-based prosthesis production factory. There, the data was entered into the computer and titanium powder was precisely crafted to fit the patient’s bone structure.

‘Another advantage of 3D printed joints is that we can use a skeletal model of the 3D printed joint to examine all stages of the surgery. We effectively carried out the operation in vitro. This greatly shortens the operation time, and reduces patient pain and the number risks involved’, Wang said.

However, he goes on to emphasize that using 3D printing technology is still quite expensive to use in medical situations. ‘because it is a new technology, pricing will be involved in all aspects of the process, such as machine costs, production time, design, etc. In general, it is still more expensive that the traditional technologies that are used for prostheses.’

The professor nonetheless feels that this technology very useful and will be extensively used in the future, as it is very suitable for diseased joints that are usually uniquely shaped in every particular situation. Furthermore, Wang believes that surgery costs for operations that involve 3D printing will likely be reduced as the technology matures.

6 Year Old gets a 3D Printed RoboHand

Six-year-old Joseph Gilbert of urban center, N.Y., was born with no fingers on his left hand, however due to a replacement “robohand,” designed and realized with a 3D printer at SUNY New Paltz’s Hudson natural depression advanced producing Center, Joseph can hopefully experience the benefits and flavor to having a completely useful hand.

Gilbert was born with Symbrachydactyly, AN abnormality that happens between the ninth and tenth week of physiological state, says his mother, Dori Gilbert. The reason for the condition is unknown, and is reportable to have an effect on one in each ten thousand births, she says.

Hudson natural depression advanced producing Center Assistant Director Katherine Wilson worked with applied science student Adam Carlock to style and construct the hand. By flexing his radio carpal joint, Joseph will management the fingers of the robohand to grip objects.

On July 16, Joseph came to the SUNY New Paltz field with Dori, his sister, Brandi, and a family friend to do on his new hand for the primary time.

“The employees of the Hudson natural depression Advanced producing Center is incredibly excited to be able to offer Joseph with a robohand,” aforesaid freeman. “Creating useful medical specialty for kids is one in all the most effective samples of however 3D style and printing is accustomed build outstanding objects at a little fraction of the value of ordinary fabrication strategies.”

According to freeman, the robohand costs around $15 in materials to create.

Organovo and Janssen to develop 3D printed living tissues for drug testing

The cost of analysis and development within the drug business — the price of clinical trials particularly — is rising considerably. Still over ninety fifth of the experimental medicines that are studied in humans fail to be each effective and safe.

The good news is, shortly it’ll be attainable to check medication directly on 3D printed practical living tissues. Bio 3D printing business Organovo proclaimed that it’s entered into an associate degree agreement with Janssen Research and Development (JRD), a company of Johnson & Johnson, to gauge the utilization of 3D bio-printed tissue in a drug discovery setting, consistent with a document filed with the government agencies.

Further money terms don’t seem to be disclosed. Janssen can work with Organovo to develop printable tissue for drug analysis. 3D printer may produce living human tissues that additional closely reproduce in vivo human tissues. These tissue models can offer researchers a correct read of how medication can behave in human beings.

This agreement is outside of the Company’s added 3D liver tissue for toxicity testing. In January this year, Organovo additionally proclaimed they’re connection along with 2 institutes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to assist scientists print additional reliable eye tissue for safer, more practical treatments to patients on a quicker timeline.

3D printed metal jaw replacement

Two patients at the metropolis Hospital in the Republic of South Africa will smile once more and have their traditional life back when receiving the country’s initial 3D printed metal jaw bone implantation.

The operation was governed by prosthodontist professor Dr Cules Van den Heever from the University of Pretoria, assisted by Dr Kobus Hoek, a maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Walleed Ikram – Head of the Kimberley Hospital Dental Unit, and Doctors Philip Johnsson and Riaan Liebenberg, dentists at the Kimberley Hospital’s Dental Department.

The jaw of the 31-year-old patient from gazelle was destroyed by a tumor. Another patient, a 20-year-old man from Kuruman United Nations agency bust his jaw at a steel implantation. The both got a brand new 3D printed metal replacement.

The metal implants were 3D printed at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in city. The 3D printer fuses metal powder with optical maser beams and builds the jaw layer by layer. 3D printing the implant costs from $9,500 to $1,900. Dr van den Heever mentioned that the patients had got face structure, and that they are able to eat and speak. However the only issue they will not be able to replace at this stage is the teeth.

The operation was the third of its kind to be performed worldwide. The primary operation was performed in 2012 by Belgian and Dutch scientists. Usually it takes some days to supply a custom implant, however with 3D printing technology it takes only a few hours.

3D printing exhibit, to reveal the beauty inside the human brain

The human brain is perhaps one of the most complicated riddle’s known to mankind. We have forever wondered; exactly how does it function? Why are some people more intelligent than others? Etc. Now, the Franklin Institute has made it possible for scientists and common man alike, to view a 3D model of a human brain, through 3D printing.

The Institutes latest exhibition invites people to think, how they think – confusing? Not at all, all this exhibit talks about is the functioning of the human brain, and the tremendous possibilities in the future, if scientists manage to unravel the beauty behind God’s greatest creation.

One of the many explicit features of this exhibit is a 3D printed model of the white matter patterns inside the human brain. It’s now a well-known fact that, white matter inside the human brain is a part of the central nervous system and majorly help in transmitting signals through myelinated axons from one part of the cerebrum, to another and also to the lower brain centers.

Contrary to popular belief the white matter inside the human brain, is not a passive tissue. It actively affects the way the hum brain learns, functions and reacts to anomalies. For an easy understanding, one may compare the functions to the brain to a computer network. The gray matter may be considered as the actual computers, whereas the white matter acts as the network cables, connecting all the computers in the network.

Dr. Jayatri Das, Chief Bio-Scientist at The Franklin Institute, explained why they have chosen 3D printing to create the piece:

Our philosophy behind our exhibits is to make real science approachable through hands-on, engaging exhibits.” said Dr. Das. “From an educational point of view, we knew that the concept of functional pathways needed to be an important aspect of brain science that was addressed in the exhibit, and diffusion tensor imaging gets to the heart of the real science through which scientists try to understand the wiring of these pathways. The 2D images we had seen were really beautiful, so we thought that a large-scale 3D print would be perfect as an intriguing, eye-catching sculpture that would serve as both a unique design focus and a connection to research.

More information on this upcoming exhibit, including venue and time, can be found on

Bio-synthetic Liver transplants, coming soon with the advance of 3D printing.

Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia should really be proud of being a biomedical engineer. Dr. Bhatia is recognized as a pioneer in bioMEMS and directs the Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies at MIT – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although her work explores a large variety of topics, she is most well-known for her development of bio-synthetic livers 3D printed and fabricated from human blood cells.

Scientists have long been experimenting with the 3D printing of organic cells; however Bhatia’s team has reached a step nearer to making an artificial liver. The small human livers created at Bhatia’s science laboratory contain some one thousand odd individual cells and look like contact lenses.

Dr. Bhatia commented on a radio show a week earlier, that her goal is to rescale the size of the micro-liver , and thus in some unspecified time in the future, it could be used just like a normal to human-to-human liver transplant, only this time it will be synthetic in origin.

Bhatia’s team has been experimenting with building layers with photosensitive materials but the biggest challenge is to rescale the size of the bio-synthetic liver, so as to print a liver that contains a billion or ten billion such bio-synthetic liver cells.

Expected Arrival?

This technology is still in the initial phase of trial and error rectification, commercial uses are not to be expected soon. Clinical trials have begun on live lab animals to determine the consequences of a bio-synthetic liver transplant.

Organovo, a San Diego based bio-medical research company, is also working on creating artificial human organs, they seem to have achieved quite a fortune and expect to launch the world’s first 3D printed human liver, by the end of 2014 or by early 2015.


Biofabrication is a process by which scientists can regrow most types of human tissue using 3D printers. The Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) biofabrication research is well-advanced in printing 3D custom-made scaffolds using bio-ink infused with the patient’s stem cells to enable the body to grow a new breast after mastectomy. They have recently joined hands with 3 other leaders in the field to provide a detailed and comprehensive Master’s Degree in Bioprinting or BioFabrication.

The four universities offering the two-year, two-degree master’s program are: QUT in Queensland, the University of Wollongong in NSW, the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands and the University of Würzburg in Germany.

The two year program provides students one Master’s degree in Regenerative medication & Technology from all the universities. The University of Wollongong has created headlines for the utilization of alga and 3D printing to repair broken tissue. Each of the universities, along with their European counterparts, can fulfill the anticipated demand for bioprinting researchers, further as drawing students to the individual countries for the exciting and growing field of 3D written tissues and implants.

Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher, leader of QUT’s biofabrication analysis, explains the new program can profit Australia and also the students themselves, “This degree could be a very important step in guaranteeing Australia could be a high-value, sophisticated manufacturer within the future. Graduates are going to be at the forefront of a trade which will perpetually be in high demand given the ageing of populations round the world and that cannot be simply replicated by the other country. Each of the four universities has established documentation in key areas of biofabrication, as well as chemical compound chemistry, cell biology and clinical implant

Australian students can study for 9 to 12 months at one in every of the European faculties, whereas European students can do vice versa at the Australian universities. Hutmacher adds, “Graduates of the new Master’s degree can gain a global career and have the power to steer this exciting medical revolution that grows to be notably necessary for our ageing populations.”

3D printed prosthetic eyes – coming soon to a hospital near you…

Personalized prosthetic eyes – wrought in acrylic and painted by hand—a meticulous method that may take anyplace from four to eight hours to complete. However a recently developed 3D printing technology will manufacture eyes of equal quality, at a rate of a hundred and fifty per hour, reducing the value per piece by almost ninety seven %. The prosthetic eyes are fruits of a successful collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and a British company, Fripp R&D.

The 3D printed prosthetic eyes, along with the false irises and blood vessels, are printed in full color and then sheathed in an organic compound. The 3D printed prosthetic eyes, are being created in batches, every with a rather totally different hue, to match the patient’s other existing eye. The price is around $150, which is a huge difference from the hand-loomed version, which carries a $5,000 tag.

The process remains beneath development, however once prepared, it may get noticed a worldwide market.” commented company founder, Tom Fripp.

He adds that there had been sturdy interest from the Indian subcontinent, where less advanced surgical procedures end in a high range of patients losing their eyes.

Because of the high range of comparatively poor people within the country, they have an inclination to easily ignore costly surgical procedures” aforementioned Fripp “However, our system can enable them to get a corrective in place, at a much cheaper price.

EAU develops new 3D printed Kidney to help in treating cancer

Kidney cancer is the eighth most typical cancer affecting adults, accounting for around one third of all cancers in Europe; in 2014 it had been calculable that there would be some eighty four thousand new cases of kidney cancer with approximately similar number of deaths due to it. This type of cancer is typically treated surgically, however the operations are often nerve-wracking, and speed along with accuracy is essential.

Surgeons have used 3D printing to provide actual models of tumor-containing kidneys, allowing them to simulate surgery before the expensive operation. These models are customized to every patient, giving doctors a 3D model/view of every individual’s tumor. The ability to provide actual three-dimensional models of objects means 3D printing is set to revolutionize many fields. Currently a group of surgeons from Kobe University in Japan has combined the 3D imaging capabilities, with 3D printing, to provide actual scale model of kidneys before surgery. This permits surgeons to practice and apply effective surgery in troublesome kidney cancer cases.

The researchers used computer tomography to provide a 3D scan of a pathological kidney. They then fed this information into a commercially-available 3D printer to provide a 3D printed model of the pathological kidney. Because the scan is customized, this meant that the doctors were able to construct a 3D scale model of every individual’s kidney.

The model allowed the surgeons to accurately determine the margins of the kidney tumors. The 3D printed organ model was fabricated from transparent material so that the blood vessels might be seen from the skin, meaning that surgeons may see the precise position of the blood vessels before surgery. This allowed the surgeons to simulate surgery on the kidney tumor before real surgery. The surgery was then performed with the help of surgical robots.

Commenting for the European Association of Urology, Professor Joan Palou (Barcelona, Director), said: “It looks attention-grabbing as a brand new methodology to enhance and facilitate robotic surgery. It shows nice potential, especially in the most troublesome cases. Any surgery, advantages from the doctor knowing what to expect, and at this time this looks to be the simplest simulation.