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Advancing Medical Diagnostics: 3D-Printed Mouthpiece Adapter for Exhaled Breath Sampling

Final adapter models pictured with (left) and without (right) support structures, printed from Tough v5 (blue), Surgical Guide (orange) and BioMed Clear (translucent) resins

A study led by Olaf Holz from the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM in Hannover, Germany, and a member of the German Centre of Lung Research DZL (BREATH), along with his team, has highlighted the development of a 3D-printed mouthpiece adapter for sampling exhaled breath in medical applications.

This adapter, designed for use with the commercial respiration collector for in-vitro analysis (ReCIVA) device, is fabricated using a Formlabs Form 3B stereolithography (SLA) printer and various commercial resins. It offers advantages such as mouth sampling, reduced patient contact with sampling tubes, and autoclavability for reuse, thereby minimizing waste and environmental impact compared to disposable facemasks.

This innovation demonstrates the expanding utility of 3D printing in biomedicine, providing cost-efficient and customizable solutions for breath analysis in clinical and research settings.

Accessible designs and open-access platforms play a crucial role in facilitating widespread adoption, especially during periods of supply chain disruptions. As 3D printing technology matures and safety standards are met, its utilization in commercial medical settings is expected to increase, offering benefits in both cost and functionality.

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