Medical training centre, AdventHealth Nicholson Center, has launched its Prototype Lab.
The Prototype Lab will aim to provide the technology, industry knowledge and testing needed to take a medical product from concept to working prototype. The facility will be a space for physicians, researchers, engineers and other healthcare professionals to develop their ideas for medical devices.
“Our expert team can help bring an idea from ‘napkin sketch’ to reality, and our 3D printing capabilities allow inventors to hold an actual version of their device in their hands for evaluation,” said Jodi Fails, biomedical engineer and Prototype Lab lead at AdventHealth Nicholson Center. “Most product developers assist with creation but have to look externally for lab testing. However, with Nicholson Center’s Prototype Lab, we have the unique ability to take inventions straight from the printer to the lab for immediate testing on high-quality tissue.”
The process begins with the Prototype Lab engineers taking the inventor’s initial concept and completing a preliminary art and patent search. The engineers then begin the process of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) 3D modelling. The selected final design is then sent to the in-house Objet350 Connex3 polyjet printer. This printer is able to print more than 1000 materials including rigid plastic, flexible rubber, transparent, full colour and any combination – for a functional prototype. Once evaluated, the inventor can test the device on tissue in the same building using Nicholson Center’s labs. Additionally, any products that are ready to be reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can be validated within the Nicholson Center.
“Beyond the technology and testing capabilities at Nicholson Center, our experts bring the pivotal industry knowledge that is so crucial to the early stages of product development,” said Lilly Graziani, director of corporate development at AdventHealth Nicholson Center. “With a key balance of tradition and innovation, our engineers, physicians and clinical staff work with inventors to create a product that will reach the medical community’s ultimate goal: Improving patient outcomes.”
The Prototype Lab will also be able to assist with personalised medicine. Nicholson Center engineers will be able to 3D print patient anatomy converted from a computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scan and use this during patient consultations, surgical planning, and as a reference throughout procedures. The lab will also help with the development of specialised educational training devices which can be used in courses to teach specific procedures or for training on particular machines.