EU funding 3D printing of medicine and implants at UKE

Scientists test 3D printing and AI
05 April 2022
University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)

Two research projects on producing medicine and implants with a 3D printer and artificial intelligence at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have received EUR 2 million in funds from the European Union's REACT-EU scheme.

UKE to test 3D printing of pharmaceuticals

"The two 3D printing processes to be tested and perfected here could simplify clinical procedures enormously and provide custom-made solutions in patient care,"  said Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science and Research. As part of a feasibility study by UKE’s pharmacy, scientists are developing a formula for 3D printing medicines based on pharmaceutical criteria. The researchers will use the data obtained from e.g., smartwatches and evaluate it with a machine learning algorithm to simulate adjusted doses and optimise individual patient therapy. "We are convinced that the machine printing of medicine makes an important contribution to precision medicine and patient safety," said Dr. Michael Baehr, Head of UKE’s Pharmacy, which is working with the Institute for Applied Medical Informatics. The EU is putting around EUR 650,000 towards the "Patient-specific 2D/3D printing of drugs in Closed Loop Medication Management" project until early 2023.

Individual facial implants 

Computer-manufactured implants have been used in oral and maxillofacial surgery and especially for tumour diseases and accidents for some time. As part of the "DigiMed" project, scientists at UKE’s Clinic and Polyclinic for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, researchers at the Hamburg Fraunhofer Institute for Additive Production Technologies (IAPT) and the Federal Armed Forces University Hamburg are setting up a database for more reconstruction models with individually adapted implants, said Prof. Ralf Smeets. "We want to develop various methods for automatically designing such implants from computed tomography data and convert the designs into 3D-printable data." The DigiMed project runs through late 2022 and has received nearly EUR 1.5 million in funds of which around EUR 161,000 is going directly to UKE.