Dec 24, 2015 | By Kira

A biomedical 3D printing startup founded by an engineering graduate in Northern Ireland has recently secured a £300,000 investment, roughly equivalent to $450,000 USD, in order to expand into the European and US medical industries. Axial 3D takes patient-specific CT and MRI scans of orthopedic injuries, and uses 3D printing technology to manufacture custom 3D printed models, which can then be used by surgeons to plan and practice complex surgical procedures, dramatically improving patient outcomes.

Founded in 2014 by Ulster University graduate Daniel Crawford, Axial 3D has already made waves in the UK medical market, and is planning to use this major financial boost to bring its 3D printing services to Europe, with a focus on Scandinavia and Germany, and eventually to the United States.

The £300,000 investment was offered by Ulster University’s technology and knowledge transfer company, Innovation Ulster, in association with TechStart NI and several private angle investors from the Halo network, run by the Northern Ireland Science Park.

As we have seen time and again with 3D printed models of hearts, or even 3D printed vascular systems, the benefits of using 3D printing technology to manufacture patient-specific 3D medical models are exceptional. Not only do they allow surgeons to plan and practice medial procedures, saving valuable time and money in the operating theatre, they also reduce the risk of error or complications, increase hospital bed turnover, and give patients the chance to better understand the procedure and how it will affect them. The end result is a safer, cheaper, more efficient and overall more positive experience for the doctors and patients involved.

To date, Axial 3D’s custom, precision-made 3D orthopedic models, made from 2D CT and MRI scan data, have been utilized by prominent UK healthcare professionals to facilitate complex orthopedic treatments. Their process allows them to build accurate digital 3D visualizations of complex bone structures, which can be used as tools for diagnosis and pre-op planning, as well as precise physical replicas, made with advanced 3D printing technology.

Additionally, according to Dr. Sandy McKinnon, Investment Director at Techstart NI, Axial 3D’s collaboration platform can be easily integrated into current UK National Health Service IT systems and work practices, making it easier for more doctors and patients to access and take advantage of 3D medical models.

“Having developed the service only one year ago, Axial 3D has gone from strength to strength. My biomedical engineering degree and previous experience working for an Ulster University spin-out specializing in medical technology, has given me a great understanding of what it takes to bring a medical product from research lab to market,” said Crawford.

"With healthcare budgets under increasing pressure, Axial 3D can help surgeons to minimize time spent in surgery. This can decrease the risk of complications and reduce the time a patient spends in hospital, saving healthcare providers up to £5000 [roughly $7,500 USD] on postoperative care for each patient.” He added that the substantial investment would go towards developing his export expansion strategy, as well as towards diversifying the company’s 3D modeling and 3D printing services in other areas of medicine.

"Axial 3D is already working with surgeons in the Belfast and South Eastern Trust, as well in local private hospitals, who are championing the benefits of the technology,” added Caroline McGoran, Head of Investment and Enterprise at Ulster University. “The University is committed to driving innovation and developing start-ups with both practical advice and financial support. This investment will be the launching pad the company needs to drive its growth in global markets."

The investment is certainly quite substantial, however, given the need for precise surgical planning and practice, which can be greatly improved thanks to 3D printing technology, it is no doubt justified. Though Axial 3D is currently focused on creating 3D prints for orthopedic surgeons to use as pre-operative planning aids, it is also planning to build additional medical services into its portfolio.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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Al wrote at 12/29/2015 2:56:12 PM:

or use mimics and any 3d printer and your are off and running...

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