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Photoinitiator may be Key to Biomedical Advancements in 3-D Printing
Although 3-D printing holds great promise for fabricating components from organic materials, the lack of a suitable photoinitiator has so far prevented the type of medical breakthroughs that have been envisioned—personalized tissues, bone plates, tendons, ligaments, and even entire organs. The delicate nature of such structures requires special scaffolding and a buoyant printing medium, namely water, where ordinary photoinitiators are ineffective.
To address this need, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology developed a water-soluble photoinitiator containing nanoparticles—hybrid strings of semiconductor and metal atoms—that develop charge and react catalytically when exposed to light. The new photoinitiator has tunable properties and a wide excitation window stretching from the visible to ultraviolet range. It is also highly sensitive to light and its strong...