In April, Horizon learns about devices that can print liquefied food, machines to make personalised spectacles, and the research that is paving the way for the printing of implants using live cells.
We look at the role of 3D printing in personalised healthcare, including made-to-measure spectacles and insoles that fit a patient’s feet, and technology that could one day enable doctors to 3D print implants using the body’s own cells.
Consultant Dr Phil Reeves gives his views on how Europe can build the momentum required to turn 3D printing into mass-scale personalised production, and lawyer Joren De Wachter explains why 3D printing has new implications for copyright and intellectual property laws.
Horizon has also produced an interactive timeline, based on the EU’s first 3D printing roadmap, which looks into the far future of 3D printing. To find out whether that future includes a Star Trek-style replicator, we recorded an interview with Marcel Slot, the man who coordinated the roadmap project.
Using light as an energy source, photosynthetic microalgae can be used to produce products like biofuels and cosmetics. But algae grown in a reactor block out the light on which they feed. New reactor designs could solve this problem and help the industry move forward.
3D printing is poised to transform the world as we know it. Consumer goods will be personalised and produced on demand, while manufacturers will be able to use 3D printing to come up with radical new designs for everyday objects. But how will this happen, and when?
Copyright law will struggle to be relevant for 3D-printed material, according to Joren De Wachter, an intellectual property strategist who advises companies and investors on the best way to use, understand and value the intellectual property of 3D-printed goods.
Made-to-measure glasses would be more comfortable than normal ones, look better and work more effectively, according to one of a group of research projects that are developing ways to 3D print healthcare products on demand.
Dr Phil Reeves, managing director of Econolyst, a global 3D printing consultancy, believes research needs to be coordinated across the EU to push forward 3D printing and give us mass-personalised goods made locally, on demand.
In November, Horizon takes a deep dive into the captivating, diverse world of clouds to understand what they mean for climate change. We speak to atmospheric physicist Prof. Pier Siebesma about why clouds are still one of the biggest sources of uncertainty when it comes to climate change and how new field studies are helping to reduce some of the unknowns. We speak to a researcher about flying through tropical clouds to collect particles at high altitudes to paint a full picture of the role of clouds and aerosols in our planet’s climate. And we also delve into research investigating how global warming is changing clouds and why this could bring about extreme weather and rain, and we look at how aerosols – crucial for cloud formation - are changing due to anthropogenic pollution.
In October, Horizon discovers a futuristic world of transparent e-books, plastic solar cells and electronic skin with a look at some of the applications of organic electronics. We speak to organic chemist Prof. Andreas Hirsch about how using carbon rather than silicon in electronics can make them flexible, lightweight and biocompatible and could lead to a new generation of human-looking robots and ‘chemical’ computing. We take a look at work to create electronic skin – self-healing, stretchable material that can mimic some of the functions of human skin – and its potential uses. We discover how thin, flexible, plastic solar cells could turn surfaces such as cars and fabric into sources of renewable energy, and we uncover some novel approaches to charging wearable electronics.
Live vaccines can give health effects beyond just protecting us from a specific disease and may even help us combat other infections such as Covid-19, according to Christine Stabell Benn, a professor in global health at the University of Southern Denmark.
Henk-Jan Guchelaar knows all too well the serious problems that the side-effects of medication can cause. As a professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, he has spent the last two decades trying to get the link between medicine and our genes recognised more widely.
Different people respond to medication in different ways – and the results can be fatal.
Prof. Christine Stabell Benn is studying the wider effects of common vaccines.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.