Endoscopic additive manufacturing of biomaterials

An articulating end effector for additive manufacturing that utilizes robot-assisted endoscopic surgery to implant synthetic tissues at local defects through “keyhole” incisions in patients.

This innovative technology T2019-145 is part of a portfolio that also includes T2017-363. To learn more about both technologies, please visit https://oied.osu.edu/find-technologies and search using the phrase: Endoscopic additive manufacturing of biomaterials.

The Need

Robot-assisted surgery, tissue engineering, and additive manufacturing (AM) are emerging techniques in healthcare. Currently AM is used to develop synthetic tissues and organs, but open surgery is typically used to implant these scaffolds within the patient. This invasive procedure can subject patients to infection and other morbidities. Minimally invasive robot-assisted surgeries utilize smaller incisions resulting in less stress on the body are generally availablee, but current technologies are not capable of implanting tissues with robotics.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by David Hoelzyl, have proposed an AM articulating end-effector developed for minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery to implant synthetic tissues within a patient. The technology utilizes medical imaging and computer-aided design (CAD) to design the synthetic construct prior to surgery. During surgery, the robot or surgeon guides the end-effector into the body through a small keyhole incision, and the computer-controlled device uses the CAD design to print the tissue or organ inside the body.

Commercial Applications

  • Organ Printing: Create organs or portions thereof with tailored biomaterials directly within the body.
  • Tissue Engineering: Synthesize tissues, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, or muscles with patient-specific precision.
  • Surgical Instrument: Utilize as an interchangeable surgical instrument for robotic assisted surgery (RAS).
  • Radiopaque and Radioactive Marker Insertion: Introduce radiopaque or radioactive particles for enhanced imaging or brachytherapy.


  • Intracorporeal Precision: Achieve unparalleled precision by 3D printing biomaterials directly at the surgical site.
  • Reduced Infection Risks: Mitigate infection risks by eliminating the need for open surgery during tissue engineering.
  • Minimally Invasive: Enable minimally invasive surgery with an adaptable device suitable for endoscopic procedures.
  • Patient-Specific Solutions: Tailor biomaterials to individual patients, promoting personalized regenerative medicine.
  • Enhanced Surgical Accuracy: Improve surgical accuracy and outcomes through integration with robotic surgical systems.

Patent Protection

  • United States Patent No. 10,888,428
  • United States Patent No. 11,779,466
  • United States Patent No. 11,642,835
  • United States Patent Application No. 18/144,646 (PUBLISHED)

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