3D Printing To Breathe Easier

By on April 26th, 2019 in Corporate

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 [Source: Fluidda]
[Source: Fluidda]

Materialise’s latest partnership invests in the future of patient-specific healthcare for respiratory patients.

Fluidda and Materialise, both based in Belgium, have had a longstanding relationship already, and the new move deepens it substantially.

“Fluidda was one of the first users of the pulmonology features of the Materialise Mimics software suite and it is a nice example of how new technologies for healthcare diagnostics are being developed in collaboration with Materialise’s expertise in medical engineering. With this partnership we can help even more patients, bringing the possibilities of 3D printing and planning to the pulmonology market,” said Materialise CEO Wilfried (Fried) Vancraen.

The new phase of the collaboration is a hefty one: as with many business relationships, money talks. And Materialise is talking plenty, having led a €4 million funding round for Fluidda, investing €2.5 million. The company’s CEO will also join Fluidda’s Board of Directors.

These moves show that Materialise has significant belief in what Fluidda is doing, and more so in what they can do together.

The motivation is expanding personalized treatment options for respiratory care. COPD, asthma, and other respiratory diseases are major causes of medical distress around the world. With the individual-specific care available through advanced technologies, new solutions are emerging — and Materialise and Fluidda together believe they can make an impact.

Fluidda offers Functional Respiratory Imaging (FRI), a proprietary technology that builds on CT scans and flow simulations to create better visualization of patients’ airflow. Bringing FRI together with Materialise’s 3D printing and medical planning expertise, the partners are looking toward a more personalized respiratory care solution.

“We are very excited and proud to enter into this new phase of partnership with Materialise,” said Jan De Backer, CEO of Fluidda. “We share the vision that the medical field, and particularly respiratory healthcare imaging needs to evolve towards personalized, precision medicine through a value-based healthcare approach. We are confident that advanced imaging techniques, such as our Functional Respiratory Imaging methods, can add value in this regard.”

The medical market is proving to be not just a strong application for advanced 3D printing solutions, but a strong business case for Materialise.

Materialise has been focused on realistic advances in 3D printing, many of which are built on partnerships and the company’s much-valued concept of co-creation. With so much focus in medical applications, including notable FDA approvals last year for the 3D printing of medical models based on Mimics InPrint software, the company has continued on its years-long mission to broaden access to 3D printing for medical environments.

The focus now on respiratory care is important as it expands access to that specialty. Working with a company dedicated to lung imaging technology ensures that the appropriate level of expertise is in place. That Materialise has also invested money and its CEO’s time and energy into Fluidda further underscores the seriousness with which the company is taking the partnership.

Hopefully many more respiratory patients will be able to breathe easier as new care options are created and made available — just for their needs.

Via Materialise

By Sarah Goehrke

Sarah Goehrke is a Special Correspondent for Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on the 3D printing industry since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry. Sarah served as Fabbaloo's Managing Editor from 2018-2021 and remains active in the industry through Women in 3D Printing and other work.