3D Printed Bandages
Burns are a major cause of serious soft tissue injury in the United States and around the world. Despite improvements in burn and bandage technology, burns remain a significant cause of hospitalization and death worldwide. In 2015, fire and heat resulted in 67 million injuries resulting about 2.9 million hospitalizations and 176,000 deaths worldwide. The American Burn Association states in the United States, hospitalizations related to burn injury number ~40,000 annually, including 30,000 at hospital burn centers.
Treating severe burns is difficult and there are often complications such as secondary infection, delayed wound healing, and skin graft failure. There is a need for an improved bandage used in the treatment of burns.
Invention and Opportunity
The emergence of widespread reliable 3D printing technology has presented a unique opportunity for wound care technology. The inventors believe their 3D printed bandages could improve treatment outcomes for burn victims with second degree, or partial thickness, burns.
Second degree burn wounds require a wound cover which (a) minimizes infection by isolation from the external environment (a protective barrier); (b) provides a fibrous structure to entrap fibroblasts for new tissue formation; and (c) demonstrates ease of removal after new tissue has been formed.
The St. Joseph’s University 3D printed bandages are constructed of scaffolded mats that can be produced with a wide variety of 3D printing methods. The mats are customizable in material, dimension, and may be coated with various polymers, pharmaceutical compounds, or infused with biological compounds to promote improved outcomes in burn patients.
Burns account for a significant number of hospitalizations in the United States and are also expensive to treat, with the average cost of treatment for a severe burn running over 1 million dollars2.
The market size is substantial. A recent study by Grand View Research estimated the overall burn care market size to reach $2.98 billion USD by 2025 and to grow at a robust 6.8% CAGR.
Grandview anticipates the partial-thickness (2nd degree) burn segment, which this invention addresses, to show the highest growth due to increasing cases of burns causing more than 15.0% damage to the victim’s body.
 World Health Organization. September 2016.
 National Business Group on Health. 2013.