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Copper3D Releases First of Its Kind Anti-Bacterial PLA Material

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Mar 22, 2019
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Copper3D, the Chilean/US company, announced a new anti-bacterial PLA material that could be used in prostheses to prevent bacterial infections.

Chilean/US startup Copper3D released an anti-bacterial PLA material, which it says is the only 3D printing filament of its kind.

The company is starting what it calls the “The Antibacterial 3D Printing Revolution.” In February it won the NASA Nebraska Space Grant to study and develop antimicrobial 3D printed medical devices on the International Space Station (ISS).

The idea is to “hack” the filaments used in 3D printing by adding enhancer and carrier elements so the materials are fully antibacterial.

Copper3D announced its new material along with news about a North American reseller agreement with 3D Universe, who has high hopes for the filament’s uses.

“3D Universe has long been a supporter of the e-NABLE volunteer community, making free 3D printed prosthetic devices for people around the world,” said 3D Universe in a press release. “With the new materials from Copper3D, we will be able to offer the e-NABLE community an exciting new option for producing high-quality assistive devices.”

Why Antibacterial 3D Printing Materials are Important

By adding a patented and highly effective additive based on copper nanoparticles to its materials, Copper3D produces fully antibacterial nano-composites. But, what are they useful for?

For NASA, it’s important to enable astronauts to print antimicrobial medical devices while in space. But, antibacterial medical devices are also useful here on Earth.

In fact, in its press release, Copper3D explains that over 40% of amputees suffer from dermic disorders from their 3D printed prostheses due to a high bacterial burden in the devices.

That puts these patients at risk of developing dermatitis, folliculitis, fungal or bacterial infections. Copper3D believes antibacterial medical devices can change this and hugely benefit the entire industry.

The first product in Copper3D’s portfolio is PLACTIVE – a high-quality PLA polymer with a nano-copper additive which eliminates a wide range of microorganisms. Another product is the NANOCLEAN material which is a high-quality medical grade PETG polymer to be used for medical devices.

Copper3D explains that its materials are tested and validated as fully antibacterial by the Microbiology Laboratory of the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (Chile) and the Microbiology Laboratory SITU Biosciences in the USA.

The company is now working on building a strong ecosystem of antibacterial 3D printing methods and sees 3D Universe as its way of penetrating the North American market. If you’d like to order a 750g spool of Copper3D PLACTIVE AN1 – Antibacterial PLA, visit the 3D Universe website.

For more on 3D printing innovations in the medical field, check out these stories:

Source: Press release

Copper3D

License: The text of "Copper3D Releases First of Its Kind Anti-Bacterial PLA Material" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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