Home Applications & Case Studies Nano Dimension supports biomedical research with precise micro 3D printing

Nano Dimension supports biomedical research with precise micro 3D printing

Nano Dimension Ltd (Nasdaq: NNDM), a provider of 3D printing solutions for additive manufacturing of electronics and other materials, today announced that it is supporting leading research institutions in Canada and France with its high-precision Fabrica micro 3D printing systems in a major project. The aim of the study is to accurately record neural activity in mice to investigate the mechanisms of somatosensory information processing.

The research team, consisting of researchers from three renowned institutions, faces the challenge of producing micromedical devices that meet strict size and dimensional requirements. In particular, this involves a miniature clamp designed to securely attach two electrodes to the vertebra of a mouse. Investigating the electrical activity of dorsal horn neurons in awake animals has so far been a rare and complex task.

“Recording the electrical activity of neurons in an animal’s spinal cord while awake is not easy, not only because the mouse moves while walking and breathing, but also because of the limited accessibility of the area in question,” explains Louison Brochoire, PhD student at the University of Bordeaux in France. “In this project, the clamp had to not restrict the animal’s movements and at the same time securely fix and stabilize the electrodes inserted into tiny holes,” says Brochoire, who worked under the supervision of professors from the Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives Bordeaux, the CERVO research center and the University of Laval in Québec, Canada.

The production of a clamp that can precisely and functionally stabilize electrodes was difficult to implement using conventional methods. The team therefore turned to Nano Dimension to find an alternative solution. The complexity of the design required precise dimensions, such as openings for the electrodes with a diameter of just 110 µm in a component just 2.7 mm wide. Nano Dimension used its Fabrica micro 3D printing technology, which offers micrometer-level precision. With a pixel size of just 4 µm and a layer height of 1-10 µm, the company was able to print the required bracket in just one week.

“Above all, it was crucial to be able to produce precise and extremely small holes in the clamp,” says Brochoire. “This design feature helped to minimize the artifacts caused by the animal’s breathing and movements, which would otherwise have disturbed our electrical signal and made it difficult to analyze the results. The high precision and resolution of Nano Dimension’s micro 3D printing technology, combined with the biocompatible material M-810, allowed us to develop a tool that exactly met our research requirements.”

The biocompatible material Fabrica Medical M-810, which is non-cytotoxic, proved to be perfectly suited for the required part. This development is instrumental in minimizing the disturbances caused by the animal’s breathing and movements, thus enabling precise neural recordings.

“Thanks to the high precision and resolution of Nano Dimension’s micro 3D printing technology in combination with the biocompatible material M-810, we were able to develop a new tool to achieve our research goal. The alternative would have been to achieve the desired properties by printing and modifying a larger part. This process would probably have taken several months, which would have been a major problem for this research project. With this type of technology, it will undoubtedly be possible to push existing boundaries in medicine,” says Brochoire.

The research team, consisting of Professor Pascal Fossat from the IMN, Professor Yves De Koninck from the CERVO research center, Professor Benoit Gosselin from the University of Laval and Juliette Viellard, PhD student at the University of Bordeaux, has made significant progress in biomedical research with this technology. The successful results illustrate the potential of innovative manufacturing solutions in the development of modern medical devices and biomedical research.

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