Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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A Milky Way

3D printing with milk 'inks' - potential application for personalised medicine delivery

22 October 2020

A Milky Way

3D printing is sparking creative ideas in manufacturing, engineering and medicine, and the technology continues to improve and adapt to challenges. While printing with food is possible, some methods require temperatures which can damage certain edible molecules. Here, using an 'ink' made from powdered milk, researchers use cold extrusion – a method of piping out at low temperatures – to perfect some nutritious designs (as well as a couple filled with chocolate syrup). All the while, they keep an eye on the flow of the gloopy ink and how it deforms (its rheology) as the structures assemble. One idea is to create nutritious, appealing designs to help hospital patients, perhaps young ones, maintain a healthy diet – the milky masterpieces can even be prepared to cater for individual dietary or medical requirements.

Written by John Ankers

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