A new 3D-printed light-sensing medical device could save the lives of lupus patients

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“I treat a lot of patients with lupus or lupus-like conditions, and clinically it’s hard to predict when patients’ symptoms are going to get worse,” said the University of Minnesota Medical School dermatologist and co -Study author David Pearson in a statement. .

“We know that ultraviolet light, and in some cases visible light, can cause flare-ups of symptoms, both on their skin and internally, but we don’t always know what combinations of light wavelengths contribute to symptoms,” he said. continued.

What is lupus?

lupus, or Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune rheumatic disease that affects many organs in the body. It is characterized by a red, butterfly-shaped rash on the face.

According to Lupus Foundation of Americaapproximately 1.5 million Americans and at least 5 million people worldwide have some form of lupus.

Patients with lupus frequently have light sensitivity, with 40-70% reporting that exposure to natural or artificial light indoors worsens their condition. People with lupus may experience rashes, exhaustion, and joint pain during these flare-ups.

A collaboration to help patients

According to the statement, Pearson had heard about custom 3D printing of wearable devices developed by Michael McAlpine, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota, and his team. He contacted McAlpine to collaborate in finding a solution to his problem.

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