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3D-printed tongue helps with therapeutic procedures

As society edges closer to the resumption of normal service, it’s safe to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the way we live our lives. It has forced many to come up with innovative solutions to the problems presented, none more so perhaps than a group of scientists from the University of Leeds who developed a unique solution to help the food sector; a 3D printed, synthetic tongue.

Testing at a distance

When social distancing measures were introduced, they posed a significant challenge for the food sector when carrying out sensory tests on new food items, as well as research into the development of oral therapies for conditions such as dry mouth syndrome.

New problems, new solutions

As a solution, the scientists, led by professor Anwesha Sarkar, set out to recreate the surface of the tongue, in order to bypass the need for human participation.

By taking silicone impressions of tongue surfaces from 15 adults and scanning them, the team were able to collect the dimensions, density and average roughness of the tongues, which were then used to create a 3D printed synthetic counterpart.

The team are hoping that this option will be able to streamline the initial research and development stages of oral care, food products and other therapeutic procedures. The future of 3D Printing

That 3D printing was chosen by the team from the University of Leeds to produce a synthetic version of a complicated organ like the tongue is yet another sign that the process is one of the most versatile and effective production methods available today.

At Amey Plastics, we produce a variety of items for a range of sectors, from high-precision prototypes to small parts and one-off products.

To find out how we could help you with your project, contact us now by calling 01730 266525, or emailing us at You can also view our latest case study here.


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