Sensing the impact of 3D printing on the healthcare sector and the future implications of the technology, the Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ), on the 8th of March, 2021, inaugurated its 3D Bioprinting facility to develop artificial organs through 3D Bioprinting under the Bio Harmonised Aids for Rehabilitation and Treatment (BHARAT) programme to boost diagnostics and therapy.
The Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone is India’s first medical device park is a flagship project of the Government of Andhra Pradesh to manufacture indigenous medical technology products in the country and make healthcare accessible to the common man. One of the highlight companies of the MedTech zone is think3D, one of India’s largest 3D printing service providers. Think3D has a 17,500 square feet facility in the AMTZ that focuses primarily on medical devices but also serves many other sectors including aerospace, maritime, automotive, architecture, prototyping, etc.
3D printing is an innovative technology that encompasses all medical disciplines and offers new opportunities in diagnostics and therapy. From diagnostic visualization to surgical planning patient-specific models will provide an added value for patients and physicians as part of the initiative.
The inauguration was attended by eminent guests like Dr. Jitendra Sharma(MD& CEO, AMTZ), Miss Mohini (Scientist B at BioValley Incubation Council, AMTZ), Raja Sekhar Upputuri (Co-founder &CEO, think3D, AMTZ), P S Chandranand (CEO, Biovalley InCubation Council, AMTZ) Anand Krishnan (CEO, Medivalley Incubation Centre, AMTZ) Ms Sangeetha (Production Manager, DNA Xperts Pvt Ltd, AMTZ )
3D Bioprinters at Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone
The Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone 3D bioprinting facility currently consists of two bioprinters; namely the 3D Bioplotter from EnvisionTec and another one from the University of Wollongong (UOW). As a part of a strategic collaboration between the University of Wollongong and ZMTZ, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) researchers supplied AMTZ with its Bioprinter. It is said that the Prosthetists in India connected with AMT will work on correcting ear deformities.
The UOW delivered its 3D Genii bioprinter which is designed and developed to print implantable, flexible, customised prosthetic ears that match the anatomy of patients suffering from microtia (a congenital deformity of the ear that has a heightened rate of disease in India compared to Australia).
The printer has been built specifically to deliver high precision silicon rubber prints in complex shapes, such as those found in an ear. The patient’s ear is scanned using smartphone software, and the file is uploaded for printing.
The 3D Genii will allow a prosthetist to complete their work faster and in a more streamlined manner, while providing simple scanning technology that can be used remotely to ensure the system is more accessible across the broader population.
According to ACES Director, Distinguished Professor Gordon Wallace AO, “The delivery of printers to India is an exciting step in accelerating new technologies, creating new industries and building local medtech infrastructure for both Australia and India. We’ve seen some impressive advances in the partnership between UOW and Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone in terms of identifying areas of clinical need, developing the best strategies to meet that need, and bringing together the knowledge and expertise to deliver the most effective solution in the least amount of time.”
Professor Wallace added, “Both India and Australia have challenges in delivering health innovations to their rural areas. We hope these latest developments will help in reaching out to those patients and healthcare professionals who can work remotely with us to access 3D printing technologies.”
The project also received support from the Federal Government’s Australia-India Council (AIC), to build bilateral partnerships to translate 3D bioprinting research in India, and is led in collaboration with RPA Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon Associate Professor Payal Mukherjee.
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