3DHEALS Boston 2018: From Cleft Palate to Bioprinted Lungs, Reality, Dreams, and Ambition

3D Printed prenatal spina bifida model by Dr. Albert Woo

On July 26th, concurrent with MIT Short Course on Additive Manufacturing, 3DHEALS hosted its annual Boston community event, which was supported by GE Ventures. The event was very well attended, again gathering a mixed audience with backgrounds ranging from engineering, medicine, dentistry, to venture capitalists, corporate representatives, and media. Speaker information can be found on this post. 

Jessica Zeaske’s introduction to GE Ventures

Everyone brought their curiosity, passion, and questions about bioprinting and 3D printing to the event, making the networking experience and presentations incomparable to any other typical meetups. The event follows the typical fast pace, engagement-focused 3DHEALS event template. The highlights of the presentations are below. Thanks to JOMI, the event was professionally recorded and can be found on the 3DHEALS channel.

  • The event started with Jessica Zeaske’s introduction to GE Ventures healthcare division’s investment activities. Her most notable advice to the startup founders was, “How are you going through regulatory and reimbursement pathway?” Not an easy question, but worth investing time in.
  • Gideon Balloch who is the dental product lead from Formlabs emphasized on the importance of developing an easy-to-learn and use digital workflow in the progress of 3D printing adoption in digital dentistry as well as medicine Dental 3D printing. It is already a reality that older dental lab technicians can now easily learn the new 3D printing workflow that was not previously available at an affordable price range.   
  • Derek Morris,Project Lead and a founder of the Organ Manufacturing Group at United Therapeutics, focused on the importance of advancing material sciences in making organ printing a reality. We have already made major advances in stem cell, 3D printing, and material sciences, but ultimately “Materials defines the 3D printer” (quote Chuck Hull) and cells will define materials.
  • Albert S. Woo, MD, FACS, who is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in the treatment of cleft and craniofacial anomalies, gave us a variety of user cases of how 3D printing can be an instrumental new tool from craniofacial reconstruction to educating clinicians more efficiently, to educating patients on difficult subjects such as fetal defects. The point Dr. Woo made about lowering the learning curve for younger doctors (or less experienced or skillful healthcare providers) can be very disruptive to the healthcare industry, but beneficial to humanity as a whole.  
  • Gray Chynoweth who is the current Chief Membership Officer for ARMI | BioFabUSA gave the audience an overview about ARMI|BioFabUSA and that it is an agnostic organization who is on the constant lookout for innovations that will achieve the ultimate goal in regenerative medicine, bioprinting or not. Gray emphasize the availability of funding and networking opportunties provided by ARMI.

Event Videos: 


3DHEALS Boston 2018: Bioprinting Lungs, Project Lead and founder of the Organ Manufacturing Group at United Therapeutics from 3DHEALS on Vimeo.

3DHEALS Boston 2018: Gray Chynoweth, Chief Membership Officer for ARMI | BioFabUSA from 3DHEALS on Vimeo.