3-D printing grows to scale within industry

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

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