Two years ago, Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL) created a 3D printing platform called CO’Lab 3D thanks to a partnership with INSA Lyon. This was developed in the midst of COVID to meet the potential needs of the hospital community. The platform has since been largely structured and last June received ISO 13485 certification for the design and manufacture of Class I medical devices used internally at HCL. This is the first time that a hospital printing platform has received this certification in France. CO’Lab 3D thus joins several other European initiatives that have already received this designation.
Last week we talked to you about the integration of additive manufacturing in hospitals: how to successfully deploy a workflow dedicated to 3D printing in medical facilities? Why invest in 3D solutions, what are the associated advantages? The benefits of additive manufacturing in the medical sector are undeniable, but it is not always easy to take the plunge, invest in machines and structure the associated workflow. However, we have noticed that more and more hospitals are trying to organize this flow internally, and most often this involves the creation of a platform dedicated to the CO’Lab 3D image.
Multidisciplinary 3D printing platform
Currently equipped with approximately twenty resin and FDM machines, the CO’Lab 3D platform offers design and manufacturing services to all HCL employees and patients. It is currently managed by HCL’s dedicated engineers, but historically its operations were started by a team of biomedical engineers, computer scientists, doctors, etc. Armelle Dion, Chief Innovation Officer at HCL, adds: “CThanks to the investment of a multidisciplinary team from HCL, this unique structure was created, developed and found its place in the hospital. All have volunteered to invest in making this tool a useful, needed and valued service for the hospital community..” Given this multidisciplinarity, the applications created by the platform are equally diverse.
First, note that 3D printed parts and objects are usually designed in collaboration with hospital staff. In 50% of cases, he does not find a solution adapted to his needs on the market and therefore turns to the CO’Lab 3D platform for its production. These could be educational materials to explain a rare disease, parts to simplify delicate operations, or even tools for specific biological manipulations.
Hospitalized patients with disabilities also carry many projects – 35% to be exact. They can be wrist bracelets, therapeutic educational materials or even writing aids. With the help of 3D printing, the hospital can offer objects made of decontaminable materials and in case of breakage, it can more easily reproduce them. What is particularly interesting is the fact that patients are included in the process of designing these parts, accompanied by one of HCL’s occupational therapists. In two years, 200 projects finally saw the light of day.
Train healthcare workers with CO’Lab 3D
In addition to all these innovative projects, the platform is a good springboard for training healthcare workers in the field of additive manufacturing. Indeed, a training offer was drawn up and the first meetings were held with occupational therapists and soon with biomedical engineers. In addition, this platform made it possible to create models of education, both for internal and for patients. So bronchial trees were printed in 3D to train the endoscope passage, models of the inner ear were created to learn the different pathways, etc. The goal is to facilitate this entire part of the teaching and specifically show what such a disease looks like, what to expect, what the structure of the organ is, etc.
In addition, the CO’Lab 3D platform has signed a partnership with the university’s 3D.Fab platform in order to precisely accelerate the 3D printing of innovative medical devices. Christophe Marquette, scientific coordinator of the said platform, explains: “ We will be able to combine resources and skills in dedicated spaces with suitable materials, suitable printers and computer tools for image post-processing.. » If you want to learn more about the certified 3D printing platform, click HERE.
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*Credit for all photos: CO’Lab 3D