Antimicrobial 3D Printing “Art Toys” for Immunosuppressed Children

3D printing is a spectacular technology, there’s no doubt about this.

The amount of new applications and solutions in various industries is impressive, but perhaps the new applications in healthcare are the ones that most impact and give us light on how the future of medicine could be.

In Santiago of Chile, two innovative companies have developed a unique project in the world.

3D Printed toys made with Copper3D anti-bacterial materials

Copper3D Inc., the company that develops new antimicrobial materials for 3D printing, has partnered with the company Toylisto, uses its platform to turn 2D images of drawing into 3D printable designs called “Art Toys”.

Combining these two technologies, Copper3D and ToyListo have developed a project to create “Antimicrobial Art Toys”, a beautiful project that seeks to collaborate with the emotional well-being and recovery of children with complex illnesses and immunosuppression who are in clinical isolation and for this reason have no access to play with conventional toys, which by their characteristics (porous polymers and complex geometries) harbor a high bacterial burden that can be very dangerous for these children.

The pediatric Hospital Dr. Luis Calvo Mackenna was chosen by these companies to pilot this innovative project, initially in the Oncology Unit with children in clinical isolation, who from now on can create their own drawings and see them turned into real toys for them to play safely within the isolation units.

Immunosuppressed children can create their own drawings and see them turned into real toys for them to play safely within the isolation units.

Regarding this project, Esteban Ruiz-Tagle, founder of the company Toylisto, mentions the following:

“This project was born with the objective that we have as a company to do something really different and of social impact. Hence, in some conversations with Daniel Martínez from Copper3D about combining the technologies of both companies, the idea made sense immediately. We did some tests and went to Dr. Luis Calvo Mackenna Children’s Hospital to offer our services with the antibacterial material of Copper3D. After several meetings, we obtained the approval to become suppliers in an unprecedented service all over the world: to turn children’s drawings into collection figures, safe for children with complex diseases that have them with immunosuppression. But none of this would have been possible without the antibacterial characteristics of the PLACTIVE® material and the security provided by all the studies, certifications and approvals that have.

Finally, what we are most happy about is that for the first time, children who have had to abandon pets, teddies and toys because of their health risk, will now be able to dream, play and have fun safely with the “Art Toys” by Toylisto”

This project, in addition to having the unique component of the creativity of these children transformed into a 3D printed collection figure, has another very innovative element. The figure that each of these children receives is made with the new antimicrobial materials developed by the company Copper3D.

These new antimicrobial materials (or “active nanocomposites” as they are called in Copper3D) are revolutionizing the biomedical 3D printing industry and have even come to be tested by NASA for the 3D printing of medical devices on the International Space Station (ISS).

Daniel Martínez, CINO, and co-founder of Copper3D mentions in this regard:

“For us, this project has been a path full of learning and has allowed us to fully comply with the main purpose of our company: Utilize innovation and cutting-edge technology to improve the quality of life of people. This is exactly what we have done in this project with Toylisto, to use cutting edge technology in 3D design and new antimicrobial materials to allow these children in clinical isolation to play with unique figures, designed by themselves and manufactured with a clean, safe and certified material.

This is just one more example of the impact that Antimicrobial 3D Printing can have and it poses a very promising future in the use of this technology for other applications and solutions in the Biomedical world, but also in other industries such as Aerospace, Food, Animal Care, and Mass Consumption products.

We are also proud that the prestigious Luis Calvo Mackenna Children’s Hospital has trusted our companies to pilot this project, that we plan to extend to other hospitals in Chile and, through our international networks, to other pediatric hospitals in the USA, Europe, South Africa, South East Asia, and the Middle East.”

Related to this project, Dr. Jorge Lastra, Director of the Dr. Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital comments the following:

“For our hospital, it is a pride to be a benchmark in innovation and to be able to incorporate these new technologies that have already been tested and validated internationally, in the treatment and well-being of our children, especially in those that are in more complex conditions such as immunosuppression and clinical isolation.

We hope with this initiative to mark an important milestone and to be able to show the world that from Chile, with creativity and technology, great projects of global impact can be made and that they also have a positive impact on the quality of life of our children.”

Toylisto and Copper3D wanted to produce and donate 100 #AntimicrobialArtToys this year for the children of this hospital.

You can support and make a donation here:

Claudo Soto MD (Medical Director Copper3D), Esteban Ruiz-Tagle (Founder Toylisto), Daniel Martínez (CINO Copper3D) and Javier, 8-year-old patient on Oncology Unit Hospital Calvo Mackenna.

About the Author:

Daniel Martínez is a Chilean Healthcare professional passionate about innovation and the impact it can have on the quality of life of people. His professional career has been linked to management and marketing in healthcare organizations. In 2008 he obtained an MBA in Chile. 

Then, in 2016 he started an MSc. of Innovation, which led to a profound change in his way of seeing the world. 

He began to see global problems as big challenges and opportunities to generate a huge impact with creative, innovative, and disruptive solutions. A typical day of Daniel consists of a mix between academia (he is professor of innovation in several universities in Chile) and his activities as Chief Innovation Officer at Copper3D, where he is responsible for the short term (commercial and marketing strategy) and the long term of the company working on brand positioning, new products for the portfolio, innovation architecture, new business models and strategic alliances. 

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