The 3D printing of medical models is something of an art form, and it’s one that startup BIOMODEX does well. Based in Paris and Boston, the company provides 3D printed anatomical models to surgeons, helping them prepare for complex and difficult surgeries. BIOMODEX has seen a lot of forward momentum lately, raising $15 million in Series A funding at the end of May and recently sharing perspective on the growth of additive manufacturing. In 2017, BIOMODEX 3D printed 1,000 medical models and is on track to print five times that number in 2018. The company’s approach to 3D printed medical models is an innovative and exciting one, based on a patented algorithm that forms the core of its INVIVOTECH technology.
“It is the algorithm that builds the composite material and that will distribute the different materials at a micron level; we can control every single drop of the material to match the mechanical target we have,” said BIOMODEX CEO Thomas Marchand. “We are inventing new composite materials thanks to this algorithm.”
What sets BIOMODEX apart from other 3D printed medical model companies is that in addition to matching the exact shape of the organ to be operated on, BIOMODEX adds its functionality. This adds an extra layer to the benefits that such models provide, enabling surgeons to operate with greater accuracy and efficiency.
Current estimates suggest that one out of every six surgeries in the United States experiences a complication – a frightening statistic. Policy initiatives are appearing that would hold hospitals accountable for the costs of complications, and reduce Medicare payments for hospitals with high readmission rates, poor patient satisfaction, and high incidences of hospital-acquired conditions, including through surgical complications.
“The vision is that our personalized, 3D printed patient-specific models will enable surgeons to gain a better understanding of their patient’s unique anatomy – so they will be able to plan the most complex procedures in an optimal way,” Marchand told Stratasys’ Mary Christie. “Our goal is to help surgeons choose the best medical device and operating strategy to reduce risks and improve medical and financial outcomes.”
3D printed models can reduce the risk of complications by allowing the surgeons to plan and practice their exact procedure before the patient ever gets on the table. This results in quicker surgeries, less risk to the patient, and lower exposure to anesthesia and radiation.
In the near future, BIOMODEX will be introducing its first cardiovascular product: LAACS, a software program unique to left atrial appendage patient-specific models. It will be introduced at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in September, and will be available for purchase in 2019.
“The first $3.6M fundraising in 2016 allowed us to develop EVIAS, a unique product in the field of interventional neuroradiology, aimed at reducing operational risks during the treatment of intracranial aneurysms,” Marchand said. “The latest financing will be used to develop new products in the interventional cardiology space and enable the opening of a new manufacturing facility outside Boston, Massachusetts. Boston is an ideal location for us with its mecca of world renowned medical centers and high concentration of medical device companies as we evolve and grow from our entrepreneurial roots.”
Marchand and BIOMODEX are also considering opening a service bureau for PolyJet users to send their imaging files, like MRIs and CTs, for file optimization prior to 3D printing.
“This would certainly bolster the use of 3D printing for pre-surgical planning where technical expertise at segmentation and file preparation are lacking or availability is constrained,” said Marchand.
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