Invest in Bioprinting to Get a 3D Printed Ear or New Hip: 3D Printing Conference (Part 3)
Business Cases for Medical 3D Printing, or Bioprinting
Two well-respected speakers in the medical 3D printing field presented today at the Inside 3D Printing conference.
Cornell Professor Lawrence J. Bonassar, Ph.D.
Cornell Professor Lawrence J. Bonassar presented about “3D Fabrication Technologies for Tissue Regeneration.” We wrote about Bonassar’s research in February when he published the concept of 3D printing a human ear.
In his presentation, Bonassar provided the crowded conference hall with an overview of the key bioprinting motivations and applications.
There are approximately 5 million surgeries per year in the US to replace damaged tissues. This is a huge market opportunity for synthetic, bioprinted implants. His team is already looking at research such as replacing spinal discs, demonstrated in rats and dogs, or growing organic tissue like a human ear.
During the Q&A, Bonassar was asked: “This is great research, but is there a way to accelerate it into the marketplace?” Bonassar immediately responded, “Yes, money. There are certain applications that are ready today but just need funding.”
Investors, are you listening?
Andy Christensen, Medical Modeling
The next speaker was Andy Christensen, owner of Denver-based Medical Modeling, who presented on “Industrial 3D Printing for Medical Devices.”
Christensen shared a wealth of examples and ideas, as well as practical commercial commentary, “The cost of surgery is roughly $100 per minute. That’s a business case for 3D printed medical implants.”
He described the current status of FDA approvals for polymeric systems made using 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies. There are instrument components being cleared, dating back to dental implant drill guides 5 to 7 years ago. European regulation has historically been easier but that may not last.
The focus ahead will be on personalized surgery and efficiency. One example he described is virtual surgical planning, where a surgeon and engineer walk through a pre-operation plan together with sophisticated 3D models. This can save time, money, and reduce recovery time.
Very interesting presentation and clearly a growth area for investors to get involved!