The National University of Singapore (NUS) launched the Centre for Additive Manufacturing (AM.NUS) last Friday (21 July 2017). It would serve as the venue to explore the use of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies in the biomedical and healthcare fields.
NUS, the National Additive Manufacturing Cluster (NAMIC) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) shelled out the initial funding of S$18 million for the centre.
AM.NUS is expected to drive the AM research and development in Singapore's biomedical sector, as well as support the adoption of advanced manufacturing technology in the healthcare sector.
"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 of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and co-director of AM.NUS.
"Through this inter-faculty pooling of expertise, we hope to boost technology capabilities as well as advance intellectual property development and commercialisation of AM-enabled biomedical technologies," added NUS Faculty of Engineering Professor Jerry Fuh Ying-Hsi, co-Director of AM.NUS and lead of the Restorative Repair & Implants area.
AM.NUS will also offer post-graduate studies on AM. Students will be provided hands-on experience in AM processes, materials technologies, and design for AM principles.
Facilities and areas of Expertise
AM.NUS consists of two laboratories, which are separately located at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the Faculty of Engineering. It is equipped with latest AM equipment such as powder-, plastics- and liquid- based printers, 3D scanners, Computer-aided design (CAD) image processing and design software, and testing and validation facilities.
AM.NUS will focus on five areas of expertise:
- Surgical instruments, simulation and prosthetics
The Division of Industrial Design at the NUS School of Design and Environment will lead this area to create customisable surgical tools and simulators that aim to simplify clinical tasks.
Researchers will also explore the use of AM to design functional prosthetics.
- Restorative repair and implants
The Faculty of Engineering will lead the development of new 3D printing technologies and materials under this area.
- Additive manufacturing-enabled medicine
The Department of Pharmacy will use additive manufacturing to 3D print a custom tablet to improve drug dosage control and release patterns for patients.
- 3D Bioprinting for tissue repair
The NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine will combine cell and tissue engineering with scaffolding printing techniques to develop new solution that will add tissue regeneration.
- Oral health and craniofacial applications
The NUS Faculty of Dentistry will conduct research on the application of additive manufacturing in dental implant design and tissue engineering.
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