Particle 3D uses medical technology to revolutionize healthcare
What if hospitals would start 3D-printing bones?
Particle 3D come with a solution aiming to cure cancer patients and people with bone injuries.
This business idea came about as a result of working 12 years with bone tissue engineering and seeing unrealistic solutions being promoted for clinical non-problems while real clinical problems remained unsolved.
Particle 3D have amazed the jury panel with their disruptive idea and received a great deal of attention as they were proclaimed the HealthTech AND the overall winner of Venture Cup’s National Startup Competition 2017!
They proudly represented Denmark and competed against some of the world’s most promising startups at University Startup World Cup 2017. Particle 3D made history in winning the first NORDTEK Pitch Battle! We awarded them with the opportunity to attend Slush, which is a startup and tech event, organized annually in Helsinki, Finland, happening in November.
We’ve asked the members behind this innovative 3D treatment platform to tell us about their motivation to found their company, the challenges they had to overcome and the way they see the future of Particle3D.
Who is Particle3D?
Particle3D is a biomedical engineering company that is currently in the process of developing human bone through 3D printing for use in surgical operations. Today, people who need bone replacement – either because of accidents or illness – can have a synthetic implantsuch as titanium, a donor bone or, they can harvest bone fragments from their own body to replace the missing bone. None of these solutions are optimal and usually have high complication rates. Particle3D uses a combination of computer aided design and a bone-like material to 3D print bone implants that are so life-like, they are cheating the body.
How have you started Particle3D and what motivated you?
Particle3D is a spinout company from the University of Southern Denmark and it is founded by Casper Slots, Martin Bonde Jensen and Morten Østergaard Andersen.
In 2014, a biomaterials laboratory was therefore established at University of Southern Denmark (SDU) by Associate Professor Morten Østergaard Andersen with the goal of developing clinically implementable solutions to real medical problems defined by clinicians. Our first clinical contact was Torben Thygesen, the head of the unit for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Odense University Hospital (OUH). He wanted us to come up with an implant solution for replacing destroyed or surgically removed bone in the face and jaws of his patients as current solutions performed poorly.
The ideal solution should be patient fitted for example by 3D printing it, using scanning data as a guide and it should degrade slowly after implantation to be replaced with natural bone thus restoring the patient’s tissue to both its former shape and composition.
Martin and Casper, two engineering students, were recruited to work on this project for their bachelor thesis. This resulted in the development of a particle ink that could be 3D printed into a wide variety of personalized and resolvable implants. This technology was a novel and much better solution compared to the current solutions.
What are the biggest hurdles to building your company and how are you planning to overcome them?
We have just had a meeting with SDU to discuss countries to which it would be relevant to expand. The USA is particularly in the spotlight as the American market in medical devices is among the largest in the world. However, it requires major financial ballast to penetrate a market such as this. We have to go through FDA, food and drug administration, which requires funding that is not in place yet.
What did it mean for you to be the HealthTech category and overall winner at NSC17?
One might think that winning the first prize of the Venture Cup and its accompanying check would provide an excuse for the popping of champagne corks, but for now we have not really had the chance to celebrate it. We did however celebrate the victory by sharing a bag of caramels, the day after. However, I predict that the triumph will be properly celebrated when we go to Silicon Valley. Because it is definitely something worth celebrating.
How has winning helped you?
The money has made it possible to go from a university project to starting a real company, Particle3D, this summer, which will be very exciting.
Winning the Venture Cup competition is about more than just money it has been a massive pat on the back for us to receive this kind of recognition, and as a result it’s given us a lot of PR as well as contacts both in Denmark and internationally.
Can you give some advice for young entrepreneurs?
I can’t remember who said it, but there is a saying: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”which have made a lot of sense for us in our process.
How does the future look like for you and your startup?
The future looks bright and exciting as Particle3D are preparing larger animal and clinical trials later this year.