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Lab creates Three-D printed nasal swabs throughout emergency scarcity

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The University of South Florida (USF) Health, Formlabs, a number one Three-D printing firm, and Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare supplier, have introduced they’ve efficiently produced and examined a Three-D printed nasal swab to handle emergency shortages that hospitals and well being care groups might face as testing for COVID-19 will increase.

Key milestones in testing the swabs had been carried out by USF Health college researchers within the Departments of Radiology and Infectious Diseases in collaboration with Northwell Health, together with validation testing (24-hour, Three-day, and leeching), and speedy scientific testing at Northwell Health and Tampa General Hospital. All testing confirmed that the Three-D printed nasal swabs carry out equally to plain swabs used for testing for COVID-19.

After figuring out that nasal swabs for testing COVID-19 had been in excessive demand and intensely restricted in provide, a crew from the USF Health’s Three-D Clinical Applications Division created an preliminary design, working with Northwell Health and collaborating with Formlabs to develop prototypes and safe supplies for a Three-D printed various. Over the span of 1 week, the groups labored collectively to develop a nasal swab prototype and check it within the USF Health and Northwell Health labs. In two days, USF Health and Northwell Health, utilizing Formlabs’ Three-D printers and biocompatible, autoclavable resins, developed prototypes. The swabs had been examined by clinicians at Northwell Health, USF Health and Tampa General Hospital for affected person security and luxury. Now that scientific validation is full, Three-D printers at USF Health and Northwell Health will produce the swabs and supply them to their sufferers.

“This is a prime example of the incredible impact we can have on human lives when teams of experts across academia, health care delivery, and the tech industry come together,” mentioned Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, senior vice chairman for USF Health and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “During this current COVID-19 outbreak, there is little time for delay, and the swift, agile and adept action of everyone on this effort will greatly improve this nation’s ability to test patients.”

“When we were notified of the shortage of swabs by Dr. Lockwood, we immediately began working as a team to create a novel design in a printed material that was proven safe for patients, as is Formlabs’ surgical grade resin,” mentioned Summer Decker, Ph.D., affiliate professor within the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and director for Three-D Clinical Applications in USF Health’s Department of Radiology. “We reached out to Northwell Health and Formlabs to work with us on this response initiative. With our collaborators in USF Health Infectious Diseases, we’ve been able to validate the printed swabs utility for this purpose and are extremely optimistic about the pending clinical testing results. With 3-D printed swabs, we will be able to add thousands of swabs a day to testing kits developed here at USF Health, and treat more patients safely and effectively. We look forward to continuing to work with Northwell Health and Formlabs to further combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Northwell Health is proud to collaborate with Formlabs and USF to address the global health crisis of COVID-19,” mentioned Todd Goldstein, Ph.D., Director of Northwell Health Three-D Design and Innovation. “When we saw that the testing kits were limited in supply, our 3-D printing lab immediately changed focus from creating materials for surgeries to designing and creating materials that help our front line healthcare providers treating COVID-19 patients. In one weekend, we worked together to develop a nasal swab prototype and test it in the lab. After our positive testing results, we then immediately went to work and have already started producing 1,000-1,500 swabs per day. Not only will these swabs be provided to Northwell Health patients, we are also proud to be sharing the design with other institutions that can 3-D print so that patients across the country can benefit from our work.”

Formlabs’ CEO and co-founder, Max Lobovsky, mentioned: “Formlabs has been working around the clock to provide assistance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re hopeful that our efforts will help patients get the care they need. It is important that the medical devices we supply to medical professionals on the frontlines battling this disease are safe and work effectively so as not to put workers or their patients at risk. By working hand-in-hand with Northwell Health and USF Health to design and safely produce these swabs, Formlabs is providing a viable solution to the current shortage of nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs and can now produce them at scale to help hospitals better treat patients.”

“During this unprecedented time, Tampa General Hospital is proud to unite with USF Health, Formlabs and Northwell Health to ultimately help save lives. I’ve been humbled and inspired by the perseverance, sacrifice and teamwork of our clinical teams collaborating to create the 3-D printed nasal swabs to test patients in need, during emergency shortage situations. Thank you to Formlabs 3-D printers for being a true partner to all of our physicians and teams working tirelessly to protect the health and safety of our community and beyond,” mentioned John Couris, president & CEO of Tampa General Hospital.

It is price noting that the “FDA believes that a nasopharyngeal specimen is the preferred choice for swab-based SARS-CoV-2 testing,” and that “collection should be conducted with a sterile swab.” With years of expertise within the medical business and a whole bunch of hospitals already utilizing its know-how to develop tools for surgery on-premises, Formlabs adheres to a variety of required sterilization, regulatory, security, biocompatibility, and manufacturing requirements. The firm produces sterilizable, surgical-grade plastics to be used in medical and dental purposes, and its FDA-registered manufacturing website has an ISO 13485 certification. By turning to confirmed Three-D printing know-how to enhance manufacturing processes, shorten provide chains and localize manufacturing, healthcare suppliers can shortly and effectively achieve higher entry to the provides they should fight COVID-19.


Three-D-printed swabs to assist fill hole in COVID-19 check kits


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University of South Florida

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Lab creates Three-D printed nasal swabs throughout emergency scarcity (2020, April 21)
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