Creating a Bionic Eye With 3D Printing


MSI PI Michael McAlpine (Mechanical Engineering) and colleagues recently published a study that showed how to use 3D printing technology to print an array of light receptors on a curved surface. This breakthrough helps pave the way for an artificial eye. The team used a custom-built 3D printer that was able to print on the hemispherical surface with the material running down the surface. This work is featured in a University of Minnesota Research Brief: Researchers 3D Print Prototype for “Bionic Eye.” The study was published in the journal Advanced Materials in late August and can be read on the journal website: 3D Printed Polymer Photodetectors.

Professor McAlpine is creating new technologies for next-generation 3D devices that incorporate functional materials and biology. His group uses simulation, computer-aided engineering, data visualization, and image processing software available through MSI for these projects.

Added, September 6, 2018: A story about this project appears on Minneapolis TV station Kare-11: U of M 3D Printer Now Making Bionic Eye Prototype.