Stratasys, the 3-D printing and additive manufacturing company, has partnered with Jacobs Institute (JI) in New York to develop a new center of excellence to encourage the development of new medical devices with 3-D printing technology.
The center will leverage Stratasys' 3-D printing technology to develop and test new medical devices as well as enhance clinical education and training for those involved in the field. It will also be a referral center for hospitals and medical research organizations that are considering their own 3-D printing labs.
Stratasys will provide a variety of 3-D printing solutions with an array of vibrant colors and different material properties including varying levels of opacity and rigidity. The company and JI will work together on clinical case studies and providing financial support for new research projects.
Although the 3-D printed medical device market is still emerging, growth has been rapid. A MarketsandMarkets report stated that the market is expected to grow at a compound growth rate of 25.3 percent from 2015 to 2020, and reach $2.13 billion by 2020.
Late last year, 3-D printing was paired with diagnostic imaging, which led to significant medical breakthroughs. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston's Children's Hospitals uncovered a way to generate a 3-D model
of a patient's heart with MR scans that surgeons can use to plan surgery, in only a few hours.
Surgeons at Texas Children's Hospitals have successfully used CT imaging and 3-D printing technology
to separate conjoined twins who were fused at the chest, abdomen and pelvis for the first time.
"We showed that improved visualization can be achieved using 3-D modeling, and it becomes particularly relevant when you are dealing with complex scenarios like this one," Dr. Rajesh Krishnamurthy, chief of radiology research and cardiac imaging at Texas Children's Hospital, said at a press conference at last year's RSNA meeting.
For the Jacobs Institute, partnering with Stratasys represented an opportunity to get involved in pushing the envelope on 3-D printing even further.
“Working together, the respective institutions will leverage their strengths to make an impact far greater than they could make individually," said Bill Maggio, CEO of the Jacobs Institute, in a statement.