Priscila Melo is a 27-years-old biomedical engineer.
Originally from the Azores (Portugal), she moves to the Newcastle University (UK) for her PhD which focuses on the processing of bone implants for load bearing applications using additive manufacturing techniques.
Nora Toure: Priscila, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?
Priscila Melo: I am a Biomedical Engineer specialized in biomaterials and medical devices. I did both my bachelor and master degree in Portugal. Since I started my bachelor degree my goal was to work with biomaterials, exploring new solutions and manufacturing processes.
My interest in 3D printing specifically as a manufacturing technique emerged during my master degree when a friend of mine started his PhD on 3D printing of porcelain. I read on it intensively and noticed that research on its application for medical devices was quite recent.
Biofabrication was what caught my eye. The idea of having the image of an organ and being able to print it and use it as a replacement for someone who needs it, the thought of a world without a transplant waiting list. It is easier said than done. However, the interest didn’t die there. Medical devices are a solution and improved people’s life every day.
Being able to process these devices in a personalized way in order to attend special needs was also interesting. This became my goal, attempt a PhD 3D printing of medical devices to improve my skills in the area and be able to work on it in the future. Very specific indeed, which limited my choices, however I never discarded the use of other techniques in case something like that didn’t show up. I guess I was lucky enough since I am currently exploring 2 additive manufacturing routes to process bone implants.
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