Topic Review
3D Printed Silicone Meniscus Implants
Osteoarthritis of the knee with meniscal pathologies is a severe meniscal pathology suffered by the aging population worldwide. However, conventional meniscal substitutes are not 3D-printable and lack the customizability of 3D printed implants and are not mechanically robust enough for human implantation. Similarly, 3D printed hydrogel scaffolds suffer from drawbacks of being mechanically weak and as a result patients are unable to execute immediate post-surgical weight-bearing ambulation and rehabilitation. To solve this problem, we have developed a 3D silicone meniscus implant which is (1) cytocompatible, (2) resistant to cyclic loading and mechanically similar to native meniscus, and (3) directly 3D printable. The main focus of this study is to determine whether the purity, composition, structure, dimensions and mechanical properties of silicone implants are affected by the use of a custom-made in-house 3D-printer. We have used the phosphate buffer saline (PBS) absorption test, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, surface profilometry, thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to effectively assess and compare material properties between molded and 3D printed silicone samples.
  • 320
  • 17 Apr 2021
Topic Review
3D Printing at Micro-Level
Laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) and two-photon polymerization (TPP) have proven their abilities to produce 3D complex microstructures at an extraordinary level of sophistication. Indeed, LIFT and TPP have supported the vision of providing a whole functional laboratory at a scale that can fit in the palm of a hand. This is only possible due to the developments in manufacturing at micro- and nano-scales. In a short time, LIFT and TPP have gained popularity, from being a microfabrication innovation utilized by laser experts to become a valuable instrument in the hands of researchers and technologists performing in various research and development areas, such as electronics, medicine, and micro-fluidics. In comparison with conventional micro-manufacturing methods, LIFT and TPP can produce exceptional 3D components. To gain benefits from LIFT and TPP, in-detail comprehension of the process and the manufactured parts’ mechanical–chemical characteristics is required. 
  • 512
  • 01 Jul 2021
Topic Review
3D Printing of ECHs
Electrically conductive hydrogels (ECHs), an emerging class of biomaterials, have garnered tremendous attention due to their potential for a wide variety of biomedical applications, from tissue-engineered scaffolds to smart bioelectronics. Along with the development of new hydrogel systems, 3D printing of such ECHs is one of the most advanced approaches towards rapid fabrication of future biomedical implants and devices with versatile designs and tuneable functionalities.
  • 322
  • 06 May 2021
Topic Review
3D Printing Technologies in Dentistry
3D-printing application in dentistry not only enables the manufacture of patient-specific devices and tissue constructs, but also allows mass customization, as well as digital workflow, with predictable lower cost and rapid turnaround times.
  • 125
  • 16 Sep 2022
Topic Review
4D Printing Technologies
3D printing has played a crucial role in the last decades as an innovative technology for tissue and organ fabrication, patient-specific orthoses, drug delivery, and surgical planning. However, biomedical materials used for 3D printing are usually static and unable to dynamically respond or transform within the internal environment of the body. These materials are fabricated ex situ, which involves first printing on a planar substrate and then deploying it to the target surface, thus resulting in a possible mismatch between the printed part and the target surfaces. The emergence of 4D printing addresses some of these drawbacks, opening an attractive path for the biomedical sector. By preprogramming smart materials, 4D printing is able to manufacture structures that dynamically respond to external stimuli. Despite these potentials, 4D printed dynamic materials are still in their infancy of development. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) could push these technologies forward enlarging their applicability, boosting the design space of smart materials by selecting promising ones with desired architectures, properties, and functions, reducing the time to manufacturing, and allowing the in situ printing directly on target surfaces achieving high-fidelity of human body micro-structures. 
  • 199
  • 29 Jul 2022
Topic Review
ABC-Type Linear Triblock Terpolymers
This entry aims to cover the most recent advances regarding the synthesis of linear ABC-type triblock terpolymers by RAFT polymerization, as well as their self-assembly properties in aqueous solutions. RAFT polymerization has received extensive attention, as it is a versatile technique, compatible with a great variety of functional monomers and reaction conditions, while providing exceptional and precise control over the final structure, with well-defined side-groups and post-polymerization engineering potential. Linear triblock terpolymers synthesis can lead to very interesting novel ideas, since there are countless combinations of stimuli/non-stimuli and hydrophilic/hydrophobic monomers that someone can use. One of their most interesting features is their ubiquitous ability to self-assemble in different nanostructures depending on their degree of polymerization (DP), block composition, solubilization protocol, internal and external stimuli. 
  • 267
  • 26 May 2021
Topic Review
Additive Manufacturing for Antimicrobial Materials
3D Printing, also known as fused filament fabrication (FFF), continues to open new routes to the production of high-performance and complex structures with enhanced properties and dynamic shapes that are unattainable via conventional fabrication methods. 
  • 316
  • 23 Jun 2021
Topic Review
Adhesives and Adhesion Mechanism
Adhesives are a preferred choice for binding solid wood and wood composites based on wood strips, chips, fibers, strands, and veneer for manufacturing engineered wood products (EWPs), such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL), laminated strand lumber (LSL), oriented strand board (OSB), cross-laminated timber (CLT), plywood, particle board, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and high-density fiberboard.
  • 175
  • 07 Mar 2022
Topic Review
Aggregation-Induced Emission and Fluorescent Mechanochromism
Mechanochromic fluorescent polymers are defined as materials that are able to detect a mechanical stress through a fluorescence output. This feature has evoked a growing interest in the last decades, thanks to the progress of fluorogenic molecules whose optical characteristics and chemical functionalities allow their effective insertion in many thermoplastic and thermoset matrices. Among the different types of fluorogenic probes able to detect mechanical solicitations, those with aggregation-induced emission (i.e., AIEgens) have attracted tremendous interest since their discovery in 2001. In this contribution, the main principles behind the AIEgens working behavior are introduced along with the current state of knowledge concerning the design and preparation of the derived mechanochromic fluorescent polymers. Examples are provided concerning the most ingenious solution for the preparation of chromogenic materials, starting from dierent types of commodity plastics or synthetic polymers and combined with the latest AIE technology to provide the most sensitive response to mechanical stress.
  • 1736
  • 30 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Aggregation-Induced Emission Properties in Polymers
Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE) is a phenomenon that consists of the appearance of fluorescence in solid state or aggregation greater than that of molecules in solution and has recently attracted the attention of the scientific community because of their potential applications in different fields. Compared to small molecules, little attention has been paid to polymers and oligomers that exhibit AIE, despite having excellent properties such as high emission efficiency in aggregate and solid states, signal amplification effect, good processability and the availability of multiple functionalization sites. In addition to these features, if the molecular structure is fully conjugated, intramolecular electronic interactions between the composing chromophores may appear, thus giving rise to a wealth of new photophysical properties. In this review, we focus on selected fully conjugated oligomers, dendrimers and polymers, and briefly summarize their synthetic routes, fluorescence properties and potential applications. An exhaustive comparison between spectroscopic results in solution and aggregates or in solid state has been collected in almost all examples, and an opinion on the future direction of the field is briefly stated.
  • 270
  • 02 Feb 2021
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