Imaginarium now sees that extensive adoption of 3D printing technology brings an end to animal cruelty in product testing phase. Using 3D bio-printing for human cell systems will significantly help reduce testing on animals and would make for a more accurate form of validation.
The company which develops 3D technologies such as printing, scanning and simulation to the world of healthcare has helped medical practitioners to customize treatments for every patient. This not only helps a doctor to be better prepared but also lets him again foresight to avoid any mishaps during the surgery.
Thanks to recent developments in the field of 3D printing technology, cruelty towards millions of animals during the product testing phase, can be ruled out, Tanmay Shah, Head of Innovations, Imaginarium, told Pharmabiz in an email.
The field of 3D printing has been growing rapidly since its inception. It is an advanced manufacturing technology where physical objects are created from digital data, using specialised machines known as 3D printers. These objects are ‘printed’ by the machines by adding one layer of material over the other, giving the object a 3D structure. Hence, 3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing, he added.
3D printing facilitates organ transplant and tissue generation. As the use of the technology has increased, it has found takers in several industries, medicine being a key sector. It finds a number of applications in medicine; to produce patient specific anatomical models, surgical guides, jigs and fixtures, customised implants and device testing prototypes. Its numerous potential and advances in the medical space has made the technology extremely useful for planning surgeries and creating drugs, said Shah.
Apart from a more penetrative adoption of the current solutions that 3D printing has to offer to healthcare, there is also a huge potential in the field of bio-printing. It enables printing of real living tissue. Statistics have proven time that hospitals are unable to meet the ever increasing demands of organ donation, thus leading to a large number of fatalities. With the advent of 3D technology, printing of tissues and organs is facilitated which can be further implanted into patients. A comprehensive research and experiment recently concluded that 3D printed organs such as ears, bones, cartilage and muscle structures successfully mature into functional tissue and develop into a system of blood vessels. This is now being seen as a viable option of using 3D printed tissue structures in order to substitute injured or diseased tissues in patients, he explained.
The materials used for printing surgical guides are all biocompatible which can stay in contact with the human body for prolonged durations without causing any complications. For implant procedures, FDA approved titanium is used. With the added precaution of sterilising every single piece of equipment before it enters the operation theatre, 3D printed devices are just as reliable, if not more, than the conventional ones.