Companies like Kalamazoo, MI-based Stryker and Minneapolis-based Medtronic are cashing in on the technology to create innovative orthopedic and cardiovascular products, while other operations like San Diego-based Organovo are churning out 3-D printed organs and tissue that could be used in implants and clinical testing. But implants and organs are only part of the 3-D printing equation, as “bioprinting” also holds sizable potential in the field of medical diagnostics and drug testing. Earlier this year, U.S. and Chinese researchers created a realistic 3-D model of a cancerous tumor for testing purposes, and Harvard’s Wyss Institute unveiled their “bone-marrow-on-a-chip” technology for drug testing. The device mimics live bone marrow and could provide a more accurate alternative to animal testing. Companies could face significant cost and regulatory hurdles moving forward, but many device makers and research outfits have already charted significant progress in 3-D printing.
REFERENCE: Fierce Medical Devices; Emily Wasserman; 23 JUL 2014