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Stratasys Helps Develop Blood Recycling Machine

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Stratasys has announced successful patient trials using “a revolutionary blood recycling machine called the Hemosep.”

Brightwake Ltd created the Hemosep.  Brightwake is a Nottingham, U.K.-based “family-run creative development, engineering, production, and research company specializing in innovative manufacturing solutions.”

The device “recovers blood spilled during open heart and major trauma surgery, concentrating the blood cells ready for transfusion back into the patient.  This process, known as autotransfusion, reduces the volume of donor blood required and the problems associated with transfusion reaction.”

The Hemosep “prototype device features a number of Stratasys 3D printed parts, including the main filtration and cooling systems, enabling the Brightwake team to functionally test the system in its intended environment, before the final device is produced from metal.”

Steve Cotton, Brightwake’s Director of Research and Development says “the Hemosep consists of a bag that uses chemical sponge technology and a mechanical agitator to concentrate blood sucked from a surgical site or drained from a heart-lung machine after surgery.  The cells are then returned to the patient via blood transfusion.  In a climate of blood shortage, this recycling methodology has the potential to be a game-changer within the medical industry, saving the (U.K.) National Health Service millions.”

Cotton added, “Previously we had to outsource the production of these parts which took around three weeks per part.  Now we’re 3D printing superior strength parts overnight, cutting our prototyping costs by 96% and saving more than £1,000 ($1,673) for each 3D printed model…3D printing has not only enabled us to cut our own costs, it has also been crucial in actually getting a functional device to clinical trials.  The ability to 3D print parts that look, feel, and perform like the final product, on-the-fly, is the future of medical device manufacturing.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of Stratasys and Brightwake Ltd.

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