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NTU Singapore and SGH Pioneer 3D Printing Innovations

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The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), and Singapore General Hospital (SGH) are set to establish a Joint Research & Development Laboratory in additive manufacturing (3D printing). This partnership aims to usher in a new era of healthcare solutions, particularly personalised medical devices and implants, benefitting SGH patients.

The collaboration capitalises on the synergies between SGH’s 3D Printing Centre and NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP). The envisioned innovations are still in the developmental phase but hold promise for redefining patient treatment.

In a joint news release, Professor Kenneth Kwek, CEO of SGH, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, highlighting SGH’s commitment to providing top-notch care. He emphasised the limitless possibilities for advancing patient care and experiences through collaborative efforts.

Professor Lam Khin Yong, Vice President (Industry) of NTU Singapore, stressed the collaboration’s potential to forge innovative solutions in personalised prosthetic and orthotic devices, regenerative medicine, and educational initiatives. The collaboration not only benefits current patients but also contributes to nurturing talent for the evolving medical landscape.

The Joint R&D Lab will focus on four key areas:

  1. Prosthetic & Orthotic Devices: This research area involves developing additive manufacturing methodologies for prosthetic and orthotic devices. Key objectives include defining design guidelines, material selection, and functional testing, aiming to optimise materials and manufacturing techniques.
  2. Bioprinting for Regenerative Medicine: The lab will explore 3D printing living tissues for regenerative medicine, assessing clinical applications and infrastructure requirements for point-of-care bioprinting. Research will extend to areas with high clinical significance, such as human organ printing.
  3. 3D Printed Implants at Point-of-Care: The lab will explore the potential of 3D printing medical implants directly at the point-of-care, utilising materials like PEEK and metal for specific medical procedures. The study will also delve into the feasibility and infrastructure requirements for efficient implementation.
  4. Additive Manufacturing Technology Landscaping: This research focus involves enhancing the additive manufacturing technology landscape for healthcare applications. It includes identifying and developing applications with clinical significance, such as food printing and flexible electronics for medical monitoring devices.

The collaboration aligns with NTU’s commitment to addressing challenges in healthy living and ageing, as outlined in its NTU 2025 strategic plan. The partnership’s potential impact is not only significant for current patients but also extends to shaping the future of healthcare through cutting-edge research, technological advancements, and the development of a new generation of medical professionals.

As NTU and SGH join forces in this ambitious endeavour, they signal a paradigm shift in healthcare, leveraging 3D printing to innovate patient-specific solutions, drive advancements in regenerative medicine, and reshape the landscape of medical technology.

Digitalisation in the medical field is pivotal for revolutionising patient care and healthcare systems. Adopting electronic health records (EHRs) ensures comprehensive and accessible patient information, fostering informed decision-making by healthcare providers. Enabled by digital platforms, telemedicine enhances accessibility to healthcare services, particularly in remote areas, fostering ongoing patient-provider communication.

Additionally, digitalisation streamlines administrative workflows, automating routine tasks and reducing paperwork, allowing healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care. Digital tools, including wearables and monitoring devices, empower continuous patient monitoring, contributing to the proactive management of chronic conditions.

Beyond individual care, digitalisation plays a crucial role in public health initiatives. Health information systems and data analytics enable disease surveillance, outbreak monitoring, and effective public health planning. As technology advances, digitalisation continues to shape the future of healthcare, driving improvements in patient outcomes, education and training for healthcare professionals, and overall healthcare delivery.

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