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AI and 3D Printing Redefine Bone Repair in the Philippines

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In a groundbreaking initiative, Filipino researchers, led by Dr Erwin P. Enrique from Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing technologies to advance bone tissue repair.

Image credits: DOST-PCHRD

This project, supported by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and in collaboration with international experts from the Vellore Institute of Technology in India, aims to revolutionise bone-related treatments caused by ageing, infections, and accidents.

The innovative approach seeks to empower both patients and doctors by offering a more accessible and affordable solution for bone repair materials. By combining AI-assisted design and 3D printing, the researchers are creating tunable bone scaffolds with enhanced performance for complex bone regeneration. The objective is to provide a viable alternative to existing methods, allowing for optimal bone repair based on medical needs and affordability.

Now in its second year, the project has achieved significant milestones. The team has developed a machine-learning model capable of analysing factors influencing the effectiveness of bioceramic precursor materials in the 3D printing process. Simultaneously, researchers are exploring polymer-nano clay materials and 3D-printed frameworks to ensure strength and compatibility with the human body.

Dr Jaime C. Montoya, PCHRD Executive Director, emphasised the transformative potential of integrating AI and 3D printing in healthcare. He stated, “This collaborative initiative, showcasing the dedication and expertise of our team, holds promise in providing accessible and affordable solutions for bone-related challenges.”

In recognising the limitations of traditional transplantation methods, the researchers advocate for a paradigm shift towards regeneration as a more promising solution for damaged tissues and organs. The project, scheduled to conclude in August 2024, focuses on refining additive manufacturing and processing techniques, to significantly reduce fabrication time compared to current technologies.

The initiative not only addresses the technical challenges of bone repair but also aims to democratise access to advanced medical solutions. If successful, the project may empower surgeons with a diverse selection of composite materials, custom-tailored to meet the unique medical and financial needs of individual patients.

As the team pioneers this convergence of AI and 3D printing, the project stands at the forefront of medical advancements, charting a course toward a future where innovative approaches become the cornerstone of healthcare. With a commitment to accessible and affordable solutions, Filipino researchers are poised to make a lasting impact on the landscape of bone-related treatments, offering hope for a more efficient and personalised approach to bone tissue repair.

The Philippines is making significant strides in the realm of technology and information technology to propel digitalisation, empower its citizens, and drive the growth of the digital economy. Recognising the transformative potential of technology, the government has undertaken initiatives to enhance digital infrastructure, expand internet access, and implement e-governance solutions. This comprehensive approach aims to streamline public services, making them more accessible to citizens while fostering efficiency and transparency.

In addition to infrastructure development, there is a growing emphasis on digital literacy programmes and skill development initiatives to empower citizens to actively participate in the digital landscape. By equipping the population with the necessary skills and knowledge, the Philippines is fostering a digitally literate society capable of leveraging technology for personal and professional growth.

Moreover, the deployment of technology in various sectors, including education, healthcare, finance and agriculture is contributing to the digital economy’s expansion, opening up new avenues for innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

OpenGov Asia reported that the Department of Science and Technology is spearheading a comprehensive initiative to revolutionise agriculture in the Cordillera region, with a primary focus on integrating science, technology, and innovations (STI) to address existing challenges related to vegetable overproduction and marketability.

As the Philippines accelerates its digitalisation efforts, it positions itself as a dynamic player in the global digital landscape, harnessing technology to create opportunities and enhance the overall well-being of its citizens.


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