A limitless future into the printing of organs and a handful of opportunities for insurers
Artificial intelligence may seem like the product of science fiction, but this umbrella of technologies is already operating in our daily lives, even disrupting several industries. From automotive to aerospace, construction, engineering and even the medical field, 3D printing emerges as one of this century’s game changers.
American engineer Chuck Hull would not certainly expect back in 1983 that his 3D printer invention would come a long way and revolutionize the insurance system three decades after. Additive manufacturing, popularly known as 3D printing, refers to a collective term for technologies in which objects are built up layer by layer using different materials as basis.
Quick, cheap and effective production
As there is no need for intervention by other people but everything is machine-operated, additive manufacturing has considerably shortened the production and delivery times, especially for those products of smaller series. 3D printing reduces development cycles, speeds products into the market quicker and can lower the cost of manufacturing. It also has the potential to shake up supply chains, as products are made closer to consumers or even by consumers themselves at home.
It has been already said numerous times that the trend is increasingly pointing at personalization of products. 3D printing is reassuring in this aspect. It can bring massive benefits to the industries as it enables a customizable offer that fits perfectly the user’s specificities.
In regards to healthcare, additive manufacturing is an exciting development transforming the sector. Offering bespoke models, faster processes, cost savings and ultimately improved patient outcomes, 3D printing is a technology that, if implemented properly, has the potential to make a difference to thousands of lives.
Bioprinting: turning the healthcare world on its head
3D printing is significantly applied in different ways in medicine: from individually customized prosthetics, all the way to scale models of patient anatomy, dental and medical surgical guides and perfectly suited implants. As more applications are discovered, the impact of 3D printing on the medical industry has become absolutely astonishing.
Solutions to medication dosage and pharmacology issues on drug interaction or the manufacturing of medical tools and devices can be other of the possibilities available with this technology, but what is especially exciting and applicable for the field of transplants is bioprinting. Not only solves moral and ethical issues tied to traditional transplant methods, 3D printed tissue cells and organs has also increased acceptance as customized organ development using the patient’s own cells.
Bioprinting uses 3D printing techniques to combine cells, growth factors and biomaterials to fabricate biomedical parts that maximally imitate natural tissue characteristics. This new technology has promoted, as well, research work for diseases like cancer, helping in the study of tumors growth and development in order to find a cure.
The flexibility offered by 3D printing services lets medical professionals create patient-specific devices at an affordable cost. It also represents a great opportunity in what comes to the complexity of surgical means, sterilization, speed and customization of medical practices.
Bioprinting around the globe
There are around 111 established bioprinting companies and many entrepreneurs worldwide are showing interest in this emerging field. The ecosystem made up by these enterprises proves that this technology has gained increasing attention due to the ability to control the placement of cells and molecules for tissue regeneration and that it is just a matter of time before it becomes the most sought after technology in the biomedical industry.