Tattoos to 3D printing!

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/sep/04/tattoos-to-3d-printing-five-inventions-that-will-revolutionise-healthcare

contact lens

Tattoos to 3D printing: five inventions that will revolutionise healthcare

Most people know they are sick or their health is at risk because of symptoms – pain, temperature, swelling, rash etc. These are the alarm bells that drive people to doctors. However, new epidemics like obesity and type 2 diabetes can start causing damage a long time before symptoms appear, and no alarms go off.

Today we can meet these challenges with new allies. Beyond the health and fitness uses, the new world of wearables (external surface sensors) and, in time, digestibles (nanoparticle sensors that can transmit information from within), offer the opportunity to restore control back to us. Advances in biotechnology as well as material science offer us alternatives never before dreamed possible.

Google’s smart contact lens
This contact lens has an embedded sensor that measures the glucose level in your tears every second and transmits that data to a device (ie a smartphone) where it can be displayed or transmitted to a medical professional. It can also change colour if glucose levels fall below or rise above specific levels. The limiting step at the moment is powering the device. Currently it includes a small antenna which is placed between two layers of glass along with the sensor but this has to be close to a power source.

Medical tattoos
Butterfly biostamps the size of a thumbnail measure sun exposure, and a medical stamp can measure motion, temperature, heart rate and perspiration, or oxygen saturation.

There’s a new version that can be placed directly on brain tissue to monitor epileptic seizures and one that can be draped around the heart helping better detect arrhythmias and give finer control to pacemakers. The latter would use the heart’s motion to convert the energy of muscular contraction into electrical energy.

The 2025 vision is that every baby in the developing world will be tagged with several biostamps at birth. One on the wrist or ankle would replace the hospital bracelet and allow nurses to monitor the baby’s heart rate, temperature respiratory rate and oxygenation.

At UC San Diego, they have created a different type of tattoo which currently lasts on the skin for about 24 hours, applying a very mild electrical current to the skin surface for 10 minutes forcing sodium ions to migrate towards the printed electrodes. A built-in sensor then interprets the strength of the charge generated to determine a person’s overall glucose levels. Two further refinements are needed to make this ready; at present it is not connected to a numeric read out, and they are working to extend the life beyond 24 hours.

Biological 3D printing
A team at Princeton printed a bionic ear and a team at Cambridge has printed retinal cells to form complex eye tissue. But Jennifer Lewis, a biological engineering professor at Harvard, has solved the dilemma of how to print tissues with full blood supply (essential if you are going to create functional replacement organs) and has taken her team closer to being able to print a full kidney (currently the most widely transported organ). Making complete organs requires even more complex structures but with new innovations we can look to a future where damaged or worn out organs, from kidneys to hearts, could be printed to precise design specifications.

Optogenetics
Various forms of direct stimulation to the brain (implanted electrodes, vagal nerve stimulation etc) have been used in a variety of situations including depression. Now there is the possibility to use encoded genetic proteins that change in the presence of light to stimulate areas of the brain non-invasively for a particular purpose. While initial approaches used methods to genetically alter cells that could result in cell destruction limiting their practical value, the University of Chicago has recently developed an alternative which uses tiny gold nanoparticles that allow the modification of cells using low-level infrared lights and which remain intact and effective within cells over the long term without hurting or damaging nearby cells. While still in its infancy, in the next 10 years we will see new approaches and even more refined procedures of central nervous stimulation used to do everything from enhance learning to treat depression.

Real-time physiological monitoring
A low-cost device with multiple sensors that could monitor heart rate, temperature, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, respiratory rate, fluid state, and glucose could provide a comprehensive output on the body’s dynamic health. While still in phased development, the first versions of such devices exist in the US and Switzerland. Couple their sensor capabilities with analytic data fusion software and you have real-time dynamic physiological data. No longer do I need to do an artificial stress test to see how your heart behaves under strain or what is most likely to push you into diabetic crisis. Now I can see that your heart’s function was pushed to extremes at 2pm on Thursday and 5pm on Friday. With a report of your body’s reaction to exercise, increased stress at work, overeating, episodic illness, lack of sleep, you can not only assess your vulnerability but understand what patterns in your life will most likely tip you over the edge. When I get up in the morning currently I know more about the state of my car than I do about my own health. With these technologies finally that is about to change.

theguardian.com

by David Whitehouse, Chief medical officer, UST Global | Friday 4 September 2015

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3D printed brain?

http://3dprint.com/92071/your-brain-on-3d-printing/

You can 3D print your own brain.

This Is Your Brain On 3D Printing

If you’ve been through the experience of having a complete MRI brain scan, and you’re not squeamish about such things, you might be interested in building a scale model 3D print of your brain itself.

That MRI scan data means you now have the option to print your brain.

meshlab brain scan file

As for that MRI scan, you’ll need the sort of scan free of surrounding structures, and a radiologist can create a range of scans and analysis for the various elements of tissues.

Why you’d do this without significant motivation is anyone’s guess, but author and editor Richard Baguley went that route. He says once you request DICOM data of your brain, it’s possible to ask for a CD which includes the various scans, or failing that, go straight to your doctor to make the request–as the patient, it’s within your purview to ask for these files.

DICOM, or Digital Images and Communications in Medicine, data represents an open format which can be utilized by a range of medical systems.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging itself is amazing technology which uses a powerful magnetic field to react with the atoms of the human body to create a radio signal, and by shaping the resulting magnetic field, the MRI can map and capture the structure of the brain and its varying tissues and blood vessels.

Image 807

Baguley says converting the images for 3D printing can be done via a host of free and open source software such as Slicerweb, Osirix, 3DSlicer and Invesialus. He uses InVesalius in his tutorial, finding it the most simple package to take on the task.

His step-by-step description of the process results in an .STL file, but he says there’s a bit of work left to be done after that. He uses MeshLab to clean up model up prepare for printing.

Brain Scan 3D Print

Ultimately, Baguley printed out his version of his brain via Cura and a Lulzbot TAZ 5 printer.

“I was quite pleased with how my print turned out. The convoluted texture of my grey matter was well captured and printed on the top of the brain, but the similar texture on the side wasn’t quite as clear,” Baguley says of the finished article. “That’s probably because of the way the scan was processed. I could get more detail on the side by using other scans and combining the results.”

He adds that with a satisfactory 3D model complete, he may well print it in a flexible plastic or laser-cut it from wood to produce an interesting ornament…because what do you really do with a 3D printed brain?

“Now I have the 3D model, the possibilities are endless. I could print it in flexible plastic to give my cats an amusing toy,” Baguley suggests cheekily. “I could laser-cut it out in wood to produce an interesting ornament. Or I could do a small print to have available the next time someone asks to speak to the brains of this organization….”

Baguley has been writing about technology for more than 20 years and his credits include work in Wired, Macworld, USA Today and Reviewed.com. You can read the exceptionally detailed documentation Baguley created for his Brain Printing Project here on Hackaday.

brain

3dprint.com

by  | AUGUST 28, 2015

3D printed headdress!

3D printing helps create this headdress that responds to brain activity! 🙂

http://www.inside3dp.com/3d-printed-headdress-shows-brain-a…

3D printed headdress maps thoughts with color. Credit - Sensoree

3D printed headdress shows your brain activity

It looks like you’ve come straight out of the shower and have forgotten to rinse your head after shampooing, but it’s far more fascinating than that. A fashion designer has created a 3D printed headdress that indicates what parts of your brain are working, by flashing different colors and sectors.

NEUROTiQ is the brainchild of fashion designer Kristin Neidlinger, the founder of SENSOREE, who used 3D printing with EEG brain sensors to create this unusual head attire.

A 3D printed brain animating accessory

Neidlinger calls NEUROTiQ a ‘brain animating fashion item’, as it maps your thoughts and then translates them into different colors. For instance, red indicates deep sleep, orange shows a meditative state, and consciousness is yellow-green. A combined color display of blue, purple and red displays indicate multi-sensory gamma brain activity.

SENSOREE specialize in creating wearable technology with a difference. Their designs often include bio.media, which reveals something about the wearer that they themselves might not be aware of communicating.

Futuristic materials

To create these designs, Neidlinger chose futuristic materials and typically embeds them with bio sensory technology. This not only provides an emotionally based creation controlled by our bodies, but allows others to be aware of our most intimate feelings.

3D printed neuron globules embedded with bio.media . Credit: Sensoree

“I love materials,” Neidlinger told 3DPrint.com, “I am a tactile enthusiast and have always loved the qualities of textures and structures of shape. The NeurotiQ was my first work with 3D printing. It was a grand experiment with materials. Currently, 3D prints are solid objects and it is challenging to find comfort and movement on the body. The fashions are more like armor.”

Mapping the inner workings of the human brain

The headdress itself has been 3D printed as a knitted design, which could been seen as representing the complicated pattern of neurons and synapses within our own brain structure. Embedded within the 3D knit are small light points that respond to Emotiv Epoc EEG brain sensors called neuron globules.

There are 14 of these LED 3D printed globules, which once embedded into the nylon ‘wool’, then had to be hand knitted into the headdress. This, as you can imagine, was not simple task, and took 102 hours to complete.

“To make the forms flexible, I thought to combine traditional hand craft of knitting with the new technology of 3D printing,” said Neidlinger. “3D printing offers sculptural detail that is so fantastically intricate. I love the fact that you can dream up any design and make it tangible. The possibilities seem so vast – from designing jewelry to automated space stations, so why not space station jewelry? I am especially fond of working with Formlab’s Form 1 3D printer. The resolution is so fine and the resin has a nice capture of light. So far we are delighted and cannot wait to see what will happen on the runway!”

3D printed fashion fads?

MACHINIC, a San Francisco based digital prototyping and consulting company, helped Neidlinger with her NEUROTiQ headdress. Her colleagues at SENSOREE Grant Patterson and Nathan Tucker also lent a hand.

What's next for 3D printed fashion? Credit: Sensoree

The headdress made its debut at New York Fashion Week, where it was accompanied by other 3D printed designs, including several 3D printed dresses.

As for wearable technology, it appears that we are now becoming obsessed with creating items of clothing that reveal more than we could possibly say on any social media site. But when will it be enough, and is anyone apart from ourselves actually that interested?

inside3dp.com

by Janey Davies | Sep 26 2014 , 09:00:50