Jul 21, 2017 | By Tess

A new 3D printing center with a focus on healthcare research was inaugurated in Singapore this morning. Called the National University of Singapore Centre for Additive Manufacturing (AM.NUS), the new facility is initially being funded by a grant of S$18 million (around $13,208,102) provided by NUS, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Researchers at AM.NUS, which was launched earlier today by Mr. Amrin Amin, a Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health, will reportedly work alongside the NUS’ Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, as well as its Faculties of Engineering, Science, and Dentistry, and its School of Design and Environment.

The goal of establishing the new additive manufacturing center is to advance 3D printing technologies in the fields of biomedicine and healthcare and to “boost” NUS’ standing in the field of biomedical additive manufacturing.

“The NUS Centre for Additive Manufacturing will play a critical role in supporting Singapore’s vision of becoming a leading AM hub,” commented Professor Jerry Fuh Ying-Hsi, Co-Director of AM.NUS and the Thrust Lead of Restorative Repair & Implants from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the NUS Faculty of Engineering.

“Through this inter-faculty pooling of expertise, we hope to boost technology capabilities as well as advance intellectual property development and commercialization of AM-enabled biomedical technologies.”

The new AM center will focus its research on a number of specific areas, including the development of customized 3D printed surgical instruments, simulators, and functional prosthetics; 3D printing-enabled customized medicine (i.e. personalized drug formulations, dosages, and drug release); advancing tissue repair using 3D printed scaffolds and tissue engineering; developing restorative repairs and implants with ceramic and metal 3D printing; and oral health and craniofacial applicaitons, which will be conducted with the NUS Faculty of Dentistry.

“We have targeted the biomedical sector, as the end goal is to introduce new innovative products to the market which can improve patient outcomes and healthcare delivery,” said Associate Professor Wilson Wang Ee Jen, Co-Director of AM.NUS.

NUS researcher holds 3D printed customized pill

The new medical 3D printing research center is made up of two main laboratories: one at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the other located at the NUS’ Faculty of Engineering. Both labs are well-equipped with state-of-the-art 3D printing technology, including powder-based, plastic-based, and liquid-based 3D printers, as well as 3D scanners, CAD image processing and design software, and extensive testing and qualification facilities.

As part of its mandate, the AM.NUS will be launching a number of 3D printing courses for post-graduate students, which will be aimed at providing hands-on AM experience. These courses will help equip students with advanced knowledge in 3D printing that will in turn allow them to enhance manufacturing productivity across a number of industries.

Furthermore, AM.NUS will also be working alongside a number of industry partners to “develop and transfer AM technologies for biomedical applications."

At the center’s opening ceremony, Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) were signed with four companies: Creatz3D, a local SME which focuses on next-gen medical training and simulation programs; Dou Yee Enterprises, a manufacturing company with locations throughout Asia which will seek to leverage 3D printing for precision parts through AM.NUS; Forefront Additive Manufacturing, a precision engineering company which is seeking to expand into the healthcare market; and Osteopore International, a local SME that will be working with AM.NUS to develop and trial 3D printed bioscaffolds for orthopedic purposes.

“AM.NUS will bring together NUS technologies with industry expertise, enabling the accelerated translation of NUS technologies into innovative healthcare products and services,” said Dr. Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise. So far, the center is preparing to start work on a total of 17 collaborative projects, and has raised almost S$4.7 million ($3,447,770) in funding for them.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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