Materialise, a 3-D printing company that is based in Belgium and has its U.S. location in Plymouth Township, has developed the Materialise NIP Connector, which is designed to convert standard equipment available in most hospitals into a mask to facilitate breathing for patients by creating positive pressure in the lungs.
The masks allow clinicians to reduce the time patients need access to mechanical ventilators. The solution is connected to an oxygen supply and gives patients an extended period of time before mechanical ventilators are required for treatment and helps them transition off ventilators earlier. The company expects to have the device available for hospitals by mid-April.
Materialise is fast-tracking the regulatory registration in Europe and the U.S. It is also supporting a clinical trial to test the impact of its use on COVID-19 patients and expects first results to be available within the next two weeks.
“3-D printing is playing a crucial role in fighting the global coronavirus pandemic by making it possible to develop innovative solutions and have them available worldwide very quickly,” says Brigitte De Vet, vice president of Materialise Medical. “At the same time, it is crucial that the medical products we put on the market are safe and effective. Materialise has decades of experience in certified medical 3-D printing which allows us to bring 3-D printed devices to the market quickly and safely.”
The company is upscaling its production capability to make the solution available quickly to hospitals that are looking for emergency solutions. They are being made at the company’s Belgium and Plymouth locations as well as on-site 3-D printing facilities of qualified partners. Materialise is looking for partners to help make the devices. The device was developed in Belgium.
Materialise has also developed a 3-D printed door handle attachment that allows users to open doors using their forearms, a 3-D shopping cart handle that allows users to steer carts with their arms, and a 3-D printed connector to adapt Scuba masks to allow for air filtration and oxygen supply.