An Award ceremony was organized recognizing excellence in 3D printing held with the 3D PRINTING WORLDTHINK –BOARD- MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE ON 4 MARCH 2017 at The Lalit Mumbai, which was organized by Dr. Shibu John, CEO.  & Founder of Trinity Media & Marketing Solutions.

Dr. Kaushik Deb, Founder Director and CEO,  Diponed BioIntelligence was  honored with “3D PRINTING AWARD 2017-MEDICAL SERVICES & SOLUTIONS COMPANY OF THE YEAR” for the company’s contribution in medical services in 3D printing orthotics, prosthetics development of bio-inks, 3D printed medical implants, 3D devices for the stem cell activation and processing.

A healthcare revolution is taking place throughout the world, founded on the ability to create highly personalized 3D printed medical devices and patient-specific surgical simulation and direct printing of individualized implants and customized instrumentation. Diponed BioIntelligence was awarded “Uchattar Avishkar Yogana” funding recently by the Government of India Ministry of Health in corporation with IFT Hyderabad for indigenously developing 3D printed orthotics. Diponed is a personalized Healthcare Company and is also using 3D printing for personalized prosthetics development. Dr. Kaushik Deb said “Such advances in personalized 3D printed prosthetics can help patients in having a better quality of life.”

3D Printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design. There are different 3D printing technologies, but all are based on the same principle: a digital model is turned into a solid three-dimensional physical object by adding material layer by layer. 3D printing starts with a digital file derived from computer aided design (CAD) software. Once a design is completed, it must then be exported as a standard tessellation language (STL) file, meaning the file is translated into triangulated surfaces and vertices. The STL file then has to be sliced into hundreds – sometimes thousands – of 2-D layers. A 3D printer then reads the 2-D layers as building blocks which it layers one atop the other, thus forming a three dimensional object.

A 3D printer can also dispense biological materials making bio-printing possible. Bio-printing can be achieved with layer-by-layer positioning of biomaterials as well as living cells. The precise spatial control of the functional materials allows for the fabrication of 3D tissue structures such as skin, cartilage, tendon, cardiac muscle, and bone. The process starts with the selection of the corresponding cells for the tissue. Next, a viable bio-ink material is prepared from a suitable cell carrier and media. Finally, the cells are printed for subsequent culture into the required dimensions. In contrast to conventional 3D printing, 3D bio-printing is more complex in terms of the selection of materials, cell types, growth/differentiation factors, and sensitivity of the living cells construction.

In 2014 alone, the 3D-printing industry grew by 35.2%. And although the industry saw a slight slowdown in 2015, innovations with 3D-printed products are visible among a wide range of industries. But perhaps the most exciting advances in 3D printing can be found in the world of medicine, where 3D printing is starting to shake things up, especially as the cost of 3D printing drops and the technology becomes more accessible.

There are plenty of other advances in the field of 3D bio-printing, and many of them have been a part of successful surgeries and treatments. In cancer treatment alone, 3D printing is making huge leaps forward. In 2014, researchers developed a fast, inexpensive way to make facial prostheses for patients who had undergone surgery for eye cancer, using facial scanning software and 3D printing. Just this past year, in 2015, another team of researchers found that it is possible to print patient-specific, biodegradable implants to more effectively cure bone infections and bone cancer.

Bio-printing has the potential of generating tissue constructs for regenerative therapy and transplantation, furthermore, printing cellularized hydro-gels can be used to create construct that bio-mimic natural soft tissues. “In Diponed we are working with many foreign laboratories and universities to 3D print functional stem cells and tissues like sking chondrocytes, osteoblasts and hepatocytes” said Dr. Kaushik Deb.

In the processes of bio-printing, bio-ink developments are one of the most challenging issues. For 3D bio-printing, the set bio-ink is required to hold the vertical print and bear the weight of the emerging structure. Bio-ink is required to interact with cells both in vitro and in vivo.

Cell printing bio-inks have the further requirements; to maintain cell integrity and viability during resuspension and passage through the print head and provision of a suitable environment for cell growth and function within the printed scaffold. Both natural and synthetic polymers are chosen. Natural extracellular matrix (ECM) components have been used widely such as collagen, fibrin, gelatin, hyaluronic acid, etc. Synthetic biocompatible polymers such as pluronic F127, polyethylene oxide and polyethylene glycol are used.

The great potential for the bio-printing differentiation of stem cells will hopefully be realized for use in regenerative therapy, with an ultimate goal of fabricating customized tissue constructs and complete organs seeded with host stem cells for implantation. Some interesting in vivo studies have shown promising results for 3D printing for skin regeneration.

It is hoped that that bio-printing stem cells will eventually produce patient specific, bespoke constructs for regenerative therapy. This may include matching the construct to a specific lesion size and shape, and even producing complete organs for implantation. It is recognized that this technology is still in its early days. One particular challenge that needs to be overcome is the slow fabrication rate. It has been estimated with current bio-printing equipment, the fabrication of a full human liver (a construct of 1000 cm3) would take up to 3 days to complete. This lengthy production time may reduce the stem cell viability. As current bio-printing techniques struggle to print concentrations up to 107 cells/ml, hence improved technology will be required to meet the density of 5 to 10 × 108 cells/ml they consider sufficient for tissue and organ function. The use of stem cells in tissue bio-printing has the important advantage when fabricating organs populated by non-proliferative cells, such as cardiac tissue, as stem cells can be expanded in vitro in order to accumulate sufficient numbers prior to differentiation. This has the potential of becoming more efficient as IPSC (Induced pluripotent stem cells) technology advances. Diponed Biointelligence is a predictive, preventive, participating and personalized medicine (PGM) company. The company is focused on developing innovative services and products to serve unmet medical needs. (Visit us at: http://www.diponed.com)

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