Master projects in the Competence Centre

WP2: Additive Manufacturing for Bioprocessing

PROJECT 1: Surface characteristics and microbiological analysis of powder bed fusion additive-manufactured parts – the correlation between surface roughness and biofilm formation.

Introduction: This master thesis project introduced here is part of the Competence Centre Additive Manufacturing for the Life Sciences Competence Centre in collaboration with Cytiva, the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology at Uppsala university and the department of Fibre and Polymer Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The student will work in a multidisciplinary environment where interaction with different disciplines and professionals from both industry and academia are acquired throughout this project.

The benefit of using Additive Manufacturing (AM) is triggering a new industrial revolution where novel manufacturing techniques has led to the fabrication of simplified products with less components than those produced by conventional techniques. This is of high interest for the bioprocessing industry where equipment and processes are complex and made up of hundreds of different parts. However, strict requirements and regulations when using biopharmaceutical equipment makes it important to understand how AM influence the products and also evaluate different technical aspects.

Project description:

The aim of this master thesis is to develop a better understanding of how three dimensional (3D)-printed parts interact with bacteria, find the correlation between surface roughness, hydrophobicity and biofilm formation. 1 Powder bed fusion combined with different postprocessing techniques will be used to produce polymer samples. The surface roughness will be carefully characterized while the focus will be to understand which surface property that influence the bacteria adhesion the most The student will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working alongside experts in biofilm evaluation within a microbiology lab and build a flexible project based on cutting-edge technologies. Furthermore, different characterization techniques like confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), fluorescence microscopy or scanning electron microscopy (SEM) will be used to evaluate surfaces.

Your application should include:

  • a personal letter where you briefly describe yourself and your interest in the project
  • A CV//résume (max. 2 pages)

Supervisors: Karin Hjort (karin.hjort@imbim.uu.se), Álvaro Morales López (alvaroml@kth.se), Klas Marteleur (klas.marteleur@cytiva.com) , Prof. Anna Finne Wistrand (annaf@kth.se)


PROJECT 2: Master thesis: Influence of post treatment on corrosion properties of 3D-printed metal components for bioprocessing applications

Background
This thesis work will be performed at Cytiva Life Sciences in Uppsala and at Swerim AB in Stockholm and is a part of the collaboration within the AM4Life Vinnova competence center.

Cytiva Life Sciences is a global provider of technologies and services that advance and accelerate the development, manufacture, and delivery of therapeutics. Our customers undertake life-saving activities ranging from biological research to developing innovative vaccines, biologic drugs, and novel cell and gene therapies. Our job is to supply the tools and services they need, as in this case equipment for bioprocessing applications e.g chromatography. To use additive manufacturing or 3D-printing offers unique design possibilities which can be beneficial for the function of some components. However, the surfaces need to be smooth for easy cleaning and good corrosion resistance in the wet environment. This can be achieved through different post treatment methods.

The metals research institute Swerim conducts needs-based industrial research and development concerning metals and their route from raw material to finished product. Swerim has long experience from metal additive manufacturing and evaluation of material properties. Our corrosion experts develop and perform corrosion testing to simulate the corrosive environment in different applications.

Project description
In your thesis, you will try to determine and understand the correlation between different post treatment methods and surface as well as corrosion properties. You will manufacture stainless steel samples with the additive manufacturing process powder bed fusion with laser beam at Cytiva. The samples will be treated by different post treatment methods available at Cytiva or supplied externally. You will characterize the surfaces by different methods available at Swerim and/or at your university. Appropriate wet corrosion testing will be performed by you at Swerim to compare the different post treatment methods.

Objectives and learning outcome

  • Literature survey including review of post treatment methods for metal additive manufacturing and their effect on surface quality and corrosion properties
  • Understanding the mechanism of different post treatment methods
  • Linking measured surface quality and corrosion properties to post treatment methods and used parameter settings for additively manufactured stainless steel

Required qualifications
Student in material science, physics, engineering, electrochemistry, or similar fields with a good knowledge in metallic materials and/or electrochemistry. Any experience or prior knowledge about metal additive manufacturing, post treatment, or corrosion testing will be considered as an advantage. The master thesis (30hp) should be a part of an education at a Swedish university and could also be done in pair.   

The work should be initiated during the beginning of 2023.

Your application should include:

  • a personal letter where you briefly describe yourself and your interest in the project
  • A CV//résume (max. 2 pages)

Contacts
For further information about project, please contact: Markus Uhlirsch markus.uhlirsch@swerim.se, or Bo Medhage, bo.medhage@cytiva.com

WP3: Additive manufacturing of materials for implants

PROJECT 1: Study of mechanical and corrosion properties of a biodegradable magnesium alloy manufactured by Powder Bed Fusion-Laser Beam

Introduction:

Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D-printing, has opened up new possibilities from both a component design perspective and also for the development of new materials. The processing conditions of AM are very different to traditional manufacturing which allows for new microstructural combinations to be created. This is also true for biodegradable magnesium alloys, which in the past decade have been successfully 3D-printed. These types of alloys can allow for temporary fixation of for example bone fractures, eliminating the need for a second surgery to remove the implant. A degradable material also decreases the risk for infection over time, since bacteria attach to dead material, like implants. These aspects are very important to consider, bearing in mind the growing antibiotic resistance worldwide. In particular, for fracture fixation applications, adequate mechanical properties are crucial, and for degradable materials, the degradation rate needs to be adjusted to the growth rate of the patient’s own tissue. A thorough understanding of how the processing route influences the microstructure, and thus the mechanical properties, is therefore of highest importance.

Project description:

In this project, we investigate the microstructural formation related to the additive manufacturing process and their connection to the resulting mechanical properties. We aim to study the influence of heat treatments on the 3D-printed material, and how this influences the degradation of the material. Furthermore, how the mechanical integrity of the material decreases over time will be studied. Work tasks in the research project involve mechanical testing and degradation studies of the printed material, as well as material preparation and data analysis. Previous experience, or a strong interest, in additive manufacturing of metals and degradation of magnesium is merited. Through this project we expect to provide new knowledge on the possibilities and limitations of 3D-printable magnesium-based alloys for biomedical applications.

Instructions for application:

Your application should include a personal letter where you briefly describe yourself and a CV/résume (max 2 pages) as well as the names and contact information of two reference persons.

Starting date: January 2023 or as agreed.

Deadline for application: 15th November 2022

Your application should include:

  • a personal letter where you briefly describe yourself and your interest in the project
  • A CV//résume (max. 2 pages)
  • full names and contact information of two reference persons 

For further information about the position please contact: PhD student Lisa Larsson (lisa.m.larsson@uu.se) or Prof. Cecilia Persson (Cecilia.persson@angstrom.uu.se)


PROJECT 2: Process optimization of Zn alloy systems by Powder Bed Fusion-Laser Beam for degradable implants 

Introduction:

Zinc is a promising biodegradable material because of its non-toxicity and inherent benefits to the human body. In contrast to degradable Mg alloys, Zn alloys display improved degradation properties, but inferior mechanical properties. Additive manufacturing is a viable technique for developing degradable Zn alloys implants, particularly in regards to porous scaffolds for bone grafting. 

Project objectives:

The goal of this project is to optimize processing parameters for powder bed fusion-laser beam (PBF-LB) of a Zn alloy system, in order to improve mechanical properties while maintaining good degradation resistance.

  • PBF-LB process optimization for simple geometries
  • Microstructural analysis
  • Mechanical and degradation testing

Your application should include:

  • A brief letter of interest describing yourself and why you are interested in the project
  • A CV (max. 2 pages)

Please send your application and interest to Dr. Francesco D'Elia (francesco.delia@angstrom.uu.se)

WP5 : Printing for medication

PROJECT 1: Master thesis project in Nanotechnology - Additive Manufacturing (AM) of Medications 

Additive Manufacturing (AM) of Medications at the Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials, Department of Material Sciences and Engineering, The Ångström Laboratory

The Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials (NFM) is part of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Ångström Laboratory. Researchers at NFM have extensive experience in research into organic energy storage, additive manufacturing, biocompatibility and nanosafety as well as development of functional porous materials.

Project description:  At the Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials we have, in a joint effort with the Department of Pharmacy and Uppsala Academic Hospital, developed additive manufacturing methods to produce drug loaded dosage forms.

We intend to expand this area of research focusing on additive manufacturing of drug loaded polymeric materials, which will include development of novel additive manufacturing procedures and of novel dosage forms.

Work duties: The work tasks in the research project involve developing additive manufacturing processes for production of drug loaded dosage forms from polymeric materials. The use of additive manufacturing for producing dosage forms will require some experience or strong interest in powder bed AM techniques, polymer chemistry and computer-aided design (CAD).

Instructions for application:

Your application should include the following:

1) A brief personal letter where you briefly describe yourself

2) A CV/résume (max 2 pages)


PROJECT 2: Master thesis project in Nanotechnology – Additive Manufacturing (AM) of Biomaterials

Additive Manufacturing (AM) of Biomaterials at the Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials, Department of Material Sciences and Engineering, The Ångström Laboratory

The Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials (NFM) is part of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Ångström Laboratory. Researchers at NFM have extensive experience in research into organic energy storage, additive manufacturing, biocompatibility and nanosafety as well as development of functional porous materials.

Project description:  At the Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials we have developed additive manufacturing methods to produce bio-structures.

We intend to expand this area of research focusing on additive manufacturing of hydrogels with following crosslinking process in order to study structures stability and cytotoxicity with respect to loaded stem cells.

Work duties: The work tasks in the research project involve developing additive manufacturing processes, material preparation and structure analysis. The use of additive manufacturing process will require some experience or strong interest in fused deposition modelling (FDM) techniques, programming (mostly G-code) and computer-aided design (CAD).

Instructions for application:

Your application should include the following:

1) A brief personal letter where you briefly describe yourself

2) A CV/résume (max 2 pages)

For further information about the position please contact Dr Jonas Lindh, jonas.lindh@angstrom.uu.se

WP6 and WP7: Implementation - organizational and business aspects and Implementation in Clinics

Thesis projects 2023 Additive Manufacturing for the Life Sciences Competence Centre

In work packages 6 and 7 we conduct research and explore issues concerning implementation of 3D printed applications in healthcare and life sciences. We focus on different aspects that could either hinder or facilitate implementation such as organizational aspects, individual aspects, system level aspects, and societal aspects. Our studies cover different clinical areas such as dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopedics, and cardiology and life science industry in general (medical devices and medicines). Both Swedish and global context is addressed. We are also interested to understand how complex new collaborations to promote 3D printing that we label as multisectoral partnerships emerge and evolve. Although the focus is on life sciences we are also interested to compare 3D printing in life sciences to other areas where 3D printing is being adopter in order to receive a more complete understanding of 3D printing in life sciences.

Below we list master thesis projects where we can offer possibilities for master thesis students to write their thesis. If you are interested or need more information please e-mail WP6 leader: anders.brantnell@angstrom.uu.se

To apply please specify which project you are interested in and include:

  • a personal letter with a brief description of yourself and interest in the project
  • a CV of 2 pages max

Please notice that the project information is preliminary and there might be changes to the content. The master students also have possibility to influence objectives, methods, data collection and analysis of findings.


PROJECT 1. Hospital adoption of AM in Oral and Maxillofacial (OMF) Surgery

Competence centre partners: Region Uppsala (Akademiska Hospital), Uppsala universitet

Region Uppsala: Region Uppsala exists to serve the people of Uppsala County. Our goal is to create conditions for good health and sustainability and development for everyone living and working here. Region Uppsala aims to promote health and improve the quality of life of the people who live in the county. We provide equal health, medical and dental care services characterised by high quality, good accessibility and good treatment. We aim to create good opportunities for healthy, safe and sustainable living and working environments through innovative approaches.

Background: AM in clinical applications is spreading to different areas and AM in healthcare is considered as one of the cornerstones in cybernetic revolution. Despite this, actual use and clinical implementation is not mapped and understood in detail. AM in maxillofacial surgery can be used to produce tailored implants for instance for jaw and teeth. An assumption could be made that non-university hospitals (i.e., hospitals that are not connected to a university and do not have shared professions between surgeons and professors) are less innovative than university hospitals. Few empirical studies though exist to explore this assumption.

Possible objectives:

  • To explore adoption of AM in OMF by surgeons at non-university hospitals
  • To explore the degree of use
  • To explore type of 3D printed applications used (e.g., surgical guides, implants)
  • To explain adoption of AM in OMF (reasons for outcomes?) WIPO indicator rating Sweden as number 2 in innovation.

Methods: Survey directed to non-university hospitals followed by possible interviews. Contact list will be provided and data collection facilitated by a champion user.


PROJECT 2. AM in Oral and Maxillofacial (OMF) surgery: possible benefits of AM beyond clinical effects (value flow analysis)

Competence centre partners: Region Uppsala, Uppsala universitet

Region Uppsala: Region Uppsala exists to serve the people of Uppsala County. Our goal is to create conditions for good health and sustainability and development for everyone living and working here. Region Uppsala aims to promote health and improve the quality of life of the people who live in the county. We provide equal health, medical and dental care services characterised by high quality, good accessibility and good treatment. We aim to create good opportunities for healthy, safe and sustainable living and working environments through innovative approaches.

Background: AM in clinical applications is spreading to different areas and AM in healthcare is considered as one of the cornerstones in cybernetic revolution. AM in maxillofacial surgery can be used to produce tailored implants for instance for jaw and teeth. Many hospitals use at the moment external providers for 3D printed implants and other parts but at the same time inhouse 3D printing (implants printed at site) is gaining in popularity. AM in OMF can be described as a mature AM field among the other clinical fields. Despite the use and interest towards AM in OMF few studies have studied the possible benefits of inhouse 3D printing that go beyond clinical effects such as environmental impact, logistics, and time from design to clinical use.

Possible objectives:

  • To track the external manufacturing of specific 3D printed OMF implants from design to clinical use
  • To “simulate” the inhouse manufacturing of specific 3D printed OMF implants from design to clinical use
  • To compare the two manufacturing modes in terms of environmental impact, logistics, time from design to clinical use, etc.

Methods: Interviews (Zoom or IRL) with one OMF surgeon and other stakeholders that can elucidate the manufacturing process. Computer simulation of inhouse 3D printing and quantitative comparison of the two manufacturing approaches.


PROJECT 3. Needs for AM in medical industry and obstacles for use

Competence centre partners: Uppsala universitet

Region Uppsala: Region Uppsala exists to serve the people of Uppsala County. Our goal is to create conditions for good health and sustainability and development for everyone living and working here. Region Uppsala aims to promote health and improve the quality of life of the people who live in the county. We provide equal health, medical and dental care services characterised by high quality, good accessibility and good treatment. We aim to create good opportunities for healthy, safe and sustainable living and working environments through innovative approaches.

Background: AM in clinical applications is spreading to different areas and AM in healthcare is considered as one of the cornerstones in cybernetic revolution. Despite this, actual needs, spread and use of AM in medical industry is not well understood. Few studies take a holistic view on a specific field concerning AM adoption.

Possible objectives:

  • To explore views and opinions on AM in medical industry (eg., threat or possibility, what to print)
  • To identify needs for AM in medical industry
  • To explore the degree and type of use
  • To explore obstacles for use of AM

Methods: Quantitative survey among life science companies either in Sweden or globally. Focus could be on certain segment such as drug development companies or certain medical device companies. Target head of R&D or CEOs. Global survey might be better than local survey (increase the number of answers).


PROJECT 4. Inhouse 3DP of medical devices and medicines

Competence centre partners: Region Uppsala (Academic hospital), Uppsala universitet

Region Uppsala: Region Uppsala exists to serve the people of Uppsala County. Our goal is to create conditions for good health and sustainability and development for everyone living and working here. Region Uppsala aims to promote health and improve the quality of life of the people who live in the county. We provide equal health, medical and dental care services characterised by high quality, good accessibility and good treatment. We aim to create good opportunities for healthy, safe and sustainable living and working environments through innovative approaches.

Background: AM in clinical applications is spreading to different areas and AM in healthcare is considered as one of the cornerstones in cybernetic revolution. Many hospitals use at the moment external providers for 3D printed implants and other parts but at the same time inhouse 3D printing (implants printed at site) is gaining in popularity. 3D printing of medicines is also a promising field to provide tailored medication for instance for children and people with chronic diseases. To date there is one company that is FDA approved for 3D printing medicines. Much of the existing knowledge points to the feasibility of companies printing implants and medicines but at the same time there is a hype around inhouse 3D printing. Few studies have depicted 3D printing in healthcare and its sub-categories as new and emerging market categories. To understand how different stakeholders such as companies and hospitals perceive AM is important to facilitate for adoption and understand market development.

Possible objectives:

  • To explore what market labels are used by the different stakeholders (company executives, hospital administrators, researchers/clinicians) to describe inhouse 3D printing
  • To identify how market labels are used by the different stakeholders to gain prominence for their point of view
  • To explore why certain market labels are used

Methods: Interviews (Zoom or IRL) with the different stakeholders for instance concerning 3D printing of medication for children at the Akademiska Hospital (case study setting) or 3D printing of certain types of medical devices (cross sectional study).


PROJECT 5. 3D bioprinting and market labeling strategies

Competence centre partners: Uppsala universitet

Background: AM in clinical applications is spreading to different areas and AM in healthcare is considered as one of the cornerstones in cybernetic revolution. Bioprinting is one part of AM in healthcare where bioink is used to print different structures. The possibilities with bioprinting are many and there seem to be a certain hype around bioprinting. Bioprinting area provides an ample possibility to study an emerging field and understand the labeling practices of companies and their customers.

Possible objectives:

  • To explore what market labels are used by the companies and their customers to describe bioprinting
  • To identify how market labels are used
  • To explore why certain market labels are used
  • To explore the possible interplay between companies and customers in terms of market labels and emerging market

Methods: Interviews (Zoom or IRL) with bioprinting companies and their customers. Global coverage and either comparative case study design or cross-sectional design.


PROJECT 6. Needs for 3DP in the construction industry

Competence centre partners: Uppsala universitet

Background: AM in manufacturing and construction is spreading to different areas such as automotive, heavy industry, medical devices and construction industry. AM in construction industry shows indications of high levels of technology readiness as examples show that AM can be used to print an entire house with the material onsite. Still, only few companies have adopted AM and thus obstacles to adoption can be assumed to exist.

Possible objectives:

  • To explore views and opinions on AM in construction industry (eg., threat or possibility, what to print)
  • To identify needs for AM in construction industry
  • To explore the degree and type of use
  • To explore obstacles for use of AM

Methods: Quantitative survey among construction companies either in Sweden or globally. Include both adopters and non-adopters. Target head of R&D (research engineers). Global survey might be better than local survey (increase the number of answers). Could also be comparative case study without a survey.


PROJECT 7. Multisectoral partnerships for high societal impact

Competence centre partners: Uppsala universitet

Background: Multisectoral partnerships (cooperations between organizations from different sectors such as industry, academia and regulation) can lead to benefits for the partners (eg., private companies) and in general to increased welfare by solving complex problems such as antibiotic resistance or need for sustainable development through more efficient batteries. Many multisectoral partnerships are reported to suffer from conflicts and tensions that in turn hinder goal fulfilment. The goals and possible conflicts can be understood through institutional logics that embody the behavior and practices of organizational actors. To identify conflicts early on and manage them would increase possibilities for successful outcomes. To date there are no effective tools to do this.

Possible objectives:

  • To adapt a tool to measure institutional logics and identify conflicts in the multisectoral partnership
  • To identify the institutional logics and logic interaction in the multisectoral partnerships
  • To identify the level of conflict and organizational configuration in the multisectoral partnership

Methods: Interviews (Zoom or IRL) with at least one person representing different sectors to capture institutional logics, around 3-4 interviews altogether. Quantitative online survey (survey questions exist but need some modification based on type of multisectoral partnership selected) to all members in the multisectoral partnership. There are several newly founded multisectoral partnerships funded by Vinnova that could be studied such as SweDeliver, NextGenNK, SweBal, 2DTech, ANITA. Support will be provided to connect with the selected multisectoral partnership.

Last modified: 2022-11-07