Copper3D – the Chilean manufacturer of filaments has gained great popularity due to antibacterial 3D printing materials, which owe their properties to the addition of copper nanoparticles. Their solution almost immediately began to enjoy great popularity, focusing attention among others. NASA specialists who investigate the potential of using filament in manned space missions.

At the same time, Copper3D is a socially engaged company. Her campaigns are targeted at the most needy, for whom the antibacterial properties of filaments may prove to be the solution. Early Copper3D, in collaboration with the Chilean company Toylisto, created a unique project “Antimicrobial Art Toys”. The idea of the project was to use 3D printing technology to produce toys for children who, due to their illness, cannot play with stuffed toys, due to lurking bacteria and mites.

Now specialists from the Chilean company have decided to look at the next problem. As part of their latest project, they set up a breastfeeding device that reduces the risk of HIV infection. The device is made of PLActive antibacterial material containing copper particles.

A number of studies have been conducted that have shown that copper nanoparticles lead to inactivation of viruses and bacteria – including those present in HIV-infected mother’s milk. Just placing mother’s milk in a bottle printed from PLActive material reduces viral replication by 58.6% (after 15 seconds of contact with PLActive material). The research is carried out to what extent extending the contact time with the material and increasing the contact surface will increase the efficiency of the antibacterial material.

The device in its original form, printed from PLactive, was patent pending in March 2019, but Copper 3D is constantly working on the optimization of the solution. The MDFlex material (based on TPU) introduced in the last quarter of 2019 has enabled the creation of device elements that combine antibacterial properties with the desired flexibility. After creating an improved version printed from MDflex material, Copper3D filed another patent application.

Nearly 26,000 new HIV infections in 2018 are infections for children aged 0-14. The groundbreaking solution from Copper3D is a chance to reduce the likelihood of passing on HIV to breastfed babies. In addition, thanks to their materials, there is a chance to use them in creating other solutions that eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses.

Magdalena Przychodniak
Editor-in-Chief of the 3D Printing Center. A biomedical engineer following the latest reports on bioprinting and 3D printing in modern medicine.

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