Three UNAIR Students Use 3D Printing Technology to Overcome Spinal Tuberculosis

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PKM-PE Spinal Tuberculosis Team during experiment in the lab of FST UNAIR. (Photo: By courtesy)

UNAIR NEWS – Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease which is commonly found in Indonesia, with 1.2 million people died of TB. According to data released by WHO, Indonesia is ranked 3rd as the country with the most TB patients in the world.

This condition inspired three Biomedical Engineering students of Universitas Airlangga, Inten Firdhausi Wardhani, Rofi Mega Rizki Samudra, and Katherine (2016) submitted a Student Creativity Program (PKM) proposal for the exacta category entitled “Prospect of 3D Printing in Bone Scaffold Making as Spinal Tuberculosis Drug Delivery”.

Regarding her team’s work, Inten as the team leader said that in the era of Industrial Revolution 4.0, there is a great opportunity for innovation to overcome the problem. For this reason, Inten and the team want to use 3D printing technology, which is one of the five main technologies supporting the industrial 4.0 system as a tool for printing bone scaffold.

“This research proposal succeeded in getting a grant provided by the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education through the PKM program in 2018. With this grant, we developed the proposal idea at the Material Physics Laboratory, UNAIR Faculty of Science and Technology,” she explained.

Furthermore, Inten also said that the bone scaffold developed from 3D printing was injected by IBS paste. Bone scaffold, she explained, is a technology that has been developed in the field of tissue engineering as a ‘home’ for the growth of new bone tissue.

“By using 3D printing technology, the bone scaffold can be designed in accordance with the form of bone damage so that it can be useful as temporary support for bone tissue damaged by bacteria,” she explained.

Inten also said that the material used was also proven to be safe and would be degraded by body fluids. IBS paste itself, she explained, acts as a filler as well as an antibiotic drug for spinal tuberculosis.

“Both will be a very effective combination to overcome spinal tuberculosis by replacing the spinal structure damaged by bacteria while working as local drug delivery,” explained Inten.

In the end, Inten also hoped that the technology she created with the team could be a breakthrough with better effectiveness in spinal tuberculosis.

“Moreover, the used 3D printing scaffold has been proven to be an effective, efficient and inexpensive compared to other methods of making bone scaffold,” she stated.

Author: PKM-PE Spinal Tuberculosis Team

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

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