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Wednesday, September 20th, 1-2 p.m. | Center Stage
From Concept to Commercialization: It’s not brain surgery, or is it?
How does one take ideas and bring them to reality as life-changing medical devices? Or more importantly, how does one make sure their ideas will have an impact on people’s lives and be commercially viable? As a researcher, professor, lead investigator on federal government-supported grants, director of a state-funded MedTech accelerator, and founder of multiple medical device companies, Dr. Gregory Fischer has a unique perspective on what it takes to leverage all of the resources around you to develop meaningful and successful medical devices. This talk will focus on key aspects related to conceptualizing, refining, and commercializing medical devices, looking at the challenge from multiple perspectives. As CEO of AiM Medical Robotics, Dr. Fischer will describe the journey towards brining to life a game-changing MRI-compatible neurosurgery robot, and how critical it was to understand the patient journey and put oneself in the shoes of the patients and clinicians to truly identify the real challenges and unique ways to improve the experience for the patients, clinicians, and hospitals.
Thursday September 21st 1-2 p.m. | Center Stage
Moving the Nozzle: 3D Printing for Medical Device Manufacturing
New technological developments are transforming 3D printing from a method primarily used for prototyping into a reliable manufacturing method for end-use medical devices. Additionally, innovative new materials for 3D printing are being developed to impart specialized functional properties into medical devices. One example is the proprietary AlignInkTM material system, a novel biodegradable material that imparts anisotropy into the final graft following extrusion from precise nozzles. This anisotropy can guide cell elongation and extracellular matrix protein deposition along the direction of a print path. Using extrusion-based printing systems such as the 3D-Bioplotter, complex print paths can be patterned that can become structured and functional tissue following implantation.
For many tissues in the body, including tendons, ligaments, muscle, cartilage, and vasculature, structure plays an important role in function of the tissue. One specific example of this is the tympanic membrane, or eardrum. The circular and radial arrangement of collagen fibers in the eardrum enables effective sound conduction across a wide range of frequencies. When a patient damages their eardrum, the most common solution is to harvest autologous tissue from the patient and place it via an invasive procedure. Unfortunately, these autologous grafts do not remodel into the circular and radial fibrous structure that is present in the native eardrum. Thus, healing and hearing outcomes can be poor in patients. By using the AlignInkTM material system, our team has been developing a novel 3D printed graft for eardrum repair, called the PhonoGraft® device, that has shown early promise in regenerating functional eardrum tissue following implantation in animal models. This keynote will discuss the pathway that the AlignInk™ material and PhonoGraft® device technology have followed-- starting from an academic lab setting, launching into a startup company, and then being acquired by Desktop Metal to “move the nozzle” in healthcare as part of Desktop Health. Beyond the innovations, we will also discuss factors that go into bringing a 3D printed medical device to market.