April 14, 2014

UK based Brightwake has developed a revolutionary blood recycling machine, called the Hemosep, using Stratasys' Dimension 1200es 3D Printer, Stratasys announced today.

The Hemosep. Image credit: Stratasys.

The Hemosep recovers blood spilled during open heart and major trauma surgery, concentrating the blood cells ready for transfusion back into the patient. This process, known as autotransfusion, reduces the volume of donor blood required and the problems associated with transfusion reaction.

"The Hemosep consists of a bag that uses chemical sponge technology and a mechanical agitator to concentrate blood sucked from a surgical site or drained from a heart-lung machine after surgery," says Steve Cotton, Brightwake's Director of Research and Development. "The cells are then returned to the patient via blood transfusion. In a climate of blood shortage, this recycling methodology has the potential to be a game-changer within the medical industry, saving the National Health Service millions."

Successful UK Trial Upholds Patient's Religious Beliefs

So far, successful clinical trials of over 100 open-heart surgery operations in Turkey confirmed the Hemosep's ability to significantly reduce the need for blood transfusions, and further trials are now continuing in the UK.

One of the first patients to benefit from the new Hemosep device is 50-year-old UK heart patient Julie Penoyer, who, as a Jehovah's Witness, requested not to receive donated blood products. Because the device captures, cleans and puts back lost blood lost during an operation, Hemosep was the perfect solution for her.

The success of Hemosep's use during Mrs. Penoyer's operation presents new possibilities for patients across the globe, whose religious beliefs mean that receiving donated blood is not an option.

Prototyping Costs Slashed by 96% and Lead-Times Eliminated Thanks to In-house Production

For Brightwake, with medical device production demanding extremely accurate parts, capable of enduring the stress of functional and safety tests, the company's use of 3D printing has presented significant cost- and time-saving benefits.

The prototype device features a number of 3D printed parts, including the main filtration and cooling systems, enabling the Brightwake team to functionally test the system in its intended environment, before the final device is produced from metal.

"Previously we had to outsource the production of these parts which took around three weeks per part," explains Cotton. "Now we're 3D printing superior strength parts overnight, cutting our prototyping costs by 96% and saving more than GBP1,000 for each 3D printed model.

"3D printing has not only enabled us to cut our own costs, it has also been crucial in actually getting a functional device to clinical trials, " he adds. "The ability to 3D print parts that look, feel and perform like the final product, on-the-fly, is the future of medical device manufacturing."

Here is a 3D Printed wound probe used to determine the depth of wounds prior to surgery, such as knife wounds or bullets.

Here is a picture of 3D printed Saline Probe, produced from ABS Plus material via a Stratasys 3D printer, used to pierce a saline bottle and prime the Hemosep bag prior to use.

"In the fast-paced, competitive medical device industry, we are seeing more and more of our customers use 3D printing to bring their products to market more efficiently and cost-effectively," reports Andy Middleton, Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA. "The ability to turn ideas into functional products quickly is something that in the long-term we believe will improve the quality of care, and in some cases, save lives."

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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