3D-printed sealing caps for sterilization bottles

What is the need?

All over Germany, sterilizing agents have become sparse, although they still are indispensable in order to prevent further spreading of the novel corona virus. For this reason, the pharmacy of the Leipzig University of Medicine started to produce sterilizing agents and collected the sterilization bottles already being used in the clinic in order to refill them. Since these bottles were not equipped with sealing caps due to their use in dispensers for sterilizing agents, the objective was to design and manufacture 3D-printed sealing caps within 24 hours.

How was the problem solved?

First, an original sealing cap was scanned by a computertomograph in the Department of Radiology. The resulting virtual model served as a means for optimizing this model using software for computer-aided design (CAD). Then the sealing caps were manufactured by a 3D printer using a biocompatible and steam-sterilizable plastic material. Before they were utilized, the caps were cleaned and steam-sterilized in the central sterilization unit of the Leipzig University of Medicine.

What is available now?

Operational 3D printed sealing caps have been manufactured for urgently needed sterilization bottles. Within four days, 440 sealing caps have already been handed over to the pharmacy of the Leipzig University of Medicine.

Where and how can the solution be applied?

The pharmacy of the Leipzig University of Medicine is now able to safely seal the sterilization bottles after producing and bottling the sterilizing agent. This made it possible to quickly distribute the sterilizing agent in the clinic in order to ensure sufficient sterilization.

Currently, these newly developed sealing caps are not yet certified medical products.

Who are the contact persons?

  • Contact for technical issues: Dr. Ronny Grunert, Fraunhofer IWU, Leipzig University  
  • Contact for clinical questions: Prof. Dr. med. Dirk Winkler, Deputy Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Neurosurgery of Leipzig University of Medicine, Phone: 0341 9717510, Email: dirk.winkler@medizin.uni-leipzig.de

Who has supported this development as a partner?

  • Partners of cooperation: research group “Next3D“ of the Medical Faculty of Leipzig University, Leipzig University of Medicine and Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau (Zwickau University of Applied Sciences)
  • Network Biosaxony

To whom is the special thanks?
The consumable supplies for the 3D printing were provided by Leipzig University.