Casper Slots has research experience in materials science and development, tissue engineering, and drug delivery – all in the fields of 3D printing. He has spent the last five years developing new 3D printable biological inks and drug delivery systems. He is a registered nurse with clinical experience and has extensive experience working with materials scientists, as well as with patients, clinicians, and surgeons. Casper is the Chief Commercial Officer of Particle3D where he oversees the development and commercial strategies of the company. Casper holds an MSc (Eng.) in Health & Welfare Technology, a BSc in Nursing, and is a TEDx speaker. Casper will be speaking at our upcoming 3D Bioprinting Bone webinar.
Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing?
Casper: My first encounter with a 3D printer was at my university library. They bought one of the early MakerBot printers and was free to use for all students.
Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D bioprinting?
As a nurse in Denmark, I saw the pain that ill-fitting bone implants caused patients. Some were left in permanent discomfort, or had their faces disfigured by “one size fits all” models.
In 2012, I enrolled in a master’s course in medical technology at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), where I met Martin B Jensen (Co-founder and CTO of Particle3D). I collaboration with Morten Østergaard Andersen (Associate Professor, SDU Biotechnology) and Torben Thygesen (former Chief Medical Officer and Clinical Associate Professor at the University Hospital Odense OUH), we began work on a better solution, and in 2017 founded Particle3D, a startup with a single mission: printing bone.
Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D bioprinting?
Casper: We never really had a mentor when we started the Particle3D, but I have always loved the comics series Tintin. Tintin is brave, honest, decent, compassionate, and kind. Which are all virtues I would like to live by.
Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?
Casper: In the beginning, it was the 3D printer itself. Now it is more building the company, new employees and development projects, and collaboration with researchers, students, and universities from around the world that motivates me the most.
Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?
Casper: First big obstacle is TIME, we are always pressed for time, we are still a small company trying to do a lot with few people.
Secondly, navigating the market, Particle3D are developing Patient specific implants for the US marked, and our research line product is already in use around the world which means there are many obstacles both geographic and cultural differences that always play a big roll.
Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?
Casper: The future is looking bright for a long line of patients that can look forward to more specialized treatments, faster healing processes, and much better results. They will, without a doubt, reap the benefits of modern technology at its best. Because 3D printing isn’t just fancy words and flying saucers in a vague and distant future. It is a way of rethinking what we know and making it work, but here also lie the challenges. There are so much we still do not know about the process, what materials is optimal and how the 3D printed devices interact with the human body.
In the case of Particle3D’s technology, the inorganic bone matrix contains a long range of impurities, in which some are proposed to affect the bone remodeling but what we see is that the architecture of the scaffolds or implants itself also can have an equal or even bigger impact on the promote adhesion of the osteoblastic cells and bone formation.
Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?
Casper: I feel pretty lucky already so I do not know what I should whish for other than more hours in a day.
Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advices you heard should they ignore?
Casper: For advice I would say enjoy every moment of building a company from the ground up you will not get them back and celebrate your victories even the small ones.
I do not know if there are other advices, but I have two Idioms that fits well into the start spirit:
- A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- Even monkeys fall from trees.
For bad advice, we heard a lot but the expectation of having to work without family life and sleep to be successful In a startup is not something I agree with.