Exone end to end binder jetting service

Nanochon Grows Quickly and Offers Healing with 3D Printed Cartilage Implants

INTAMSYS industrial 3d printing

Share this Article

Many 3D printing conferences these days have something in common – a startup competition of some sorts. These competitions are often a highlight of conferences as they showcase the promising young companies coming up in the industry, as well as give those companies a boost in the form of investment funding. At the recent 3DHEALS conference in April, a startup called Nanochon took first place after delivering its pitch to a group of investors including GE VenturesAsimov VenturesDigital Industrialist, and others.

Nanochon was founded in 2016 by Dr. Ben Holmes and Dr. Nathan Castro, who were both working on novel strategies for orthopedics at the time. Dr. Castro was investigating new candidate materials for cell growth and saw potential in nanostructured polyurethane (nPU) as a cartilage replacement due to its unique chemical and physical properties, which allow it to support rapid stem cell growth and tissue formation. Dr. Holmes was exploring strategies for scaling up existing experimental materials to meet clinical needs, and discovered that 3D printed nPU has mechanical properties similar to cartilage and can support vascularized bone growth, which is essential for integration of any joint implant and its clinical success.

The founders worked together to come up with a new type of cartilage implant that can replace lost cartilage on a short-term basis and can fuse with the body on a longer term, improving patient outcomes. The implant is targeted at knee injury patients who are younger and more active. Typically under 55 years old, these patients often want to return to more strenuous activities, and present treatment options are unsatisfactory for a number of reasons having to do with invasiveness, complications or general lack of effectiveness, particularly long term.

Nanochon’s implantable medical device (IMD) is 3D printed from a novel, nanostructured synthetic material that effectively replicates true cartilage. It promotes new tissue growth and healing, allowing patients to have a shorter and more thorough recovery, and can be implanted arthroscopically, which is much less invasive than other types of surgery. Currently, the implants have been designed to treat critical-sized cartilage lesions on the articulate surface of the knee; ultimately, Nanochon foresees them being used to treat tears, sports injuries, early onset osteoarthritis and other forms of full-thickness cartilage loss.

Since its founding, Nanochon has grown remarkably quickly. The company has completed safety testing and a proof of concept study using a prototype to treat large cartilage injuries in animals.

“Nanochon was founded in 2016 but since then we have been able to move from an interesting science experiment to a meaningful pre-clinical proof of concept demonstration, which is allowing us to quickly move into clinical testing,” Dr. Holmes told 3DPrint.com. “I think it is a testament to what a powerful tool 3D printing can be, both for new applications in medicine/industry and the ability to test and iterate quickly.”

Recently Nanochon was awarded a Phase I SBIR from the National Science Foundation, and is planning to undertake a human study in 2019. In addition to human patients, Nanochon’s technology can also be applied to equine injuries, but whether human or horse, patients can benefit from faster recovery, less expensive treatment, and overall more effective and permanent healing thanks to this groundbreaking startup.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Images: Nanochon]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: September 26, 2021

3D Printing News Briefs, September 25, 2021: Partnerships, Software, & More



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Systems Finalizes Sale of On-Demand Business, Will Operate as Quickparts

Pioneering additive manufacturing solutions provider 3D Systems finalized the $82 million deal for the sale of its on-demand 3D printing and custom manufacturing business. The rebranded company will operate as...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: September 19, 2021

We’ve got another busy week of webinars and events to tell you about! Topics in this week’s roundup run the gamut from 3D digital textures and FDM 3D printing potential...

3D Printing News Briefs, September 18, 2021: Business, Materials, & More

We’re filling up the front of today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with plenty of business, as one company celebrates an anniversary and two others welcome new executives to their ranks....

3D Printing Service Hubs Appoints New CEO, Alex Cappy

Changes are taking place at Hubs since it was acquired by manufacturing service provider Protolabs (Nasdaq: PRLB). Not only has the subsidiary removed the “3D” from its name, but it...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.