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Blacksburg startup technology, 3D printing expedites future of medicine

Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 11:34 PM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A Blacksburg startup has found a way to cut months and years off how long it takes to develop medical diagnostics and treatments.

Inside Elliot McAllister’s garage is the birthplace of the Skyphos Industries 3D printer.

“There are several problems that keep us from ideas to market and one of those big things is prototyping with an easy button to get to mass production,” McAllister said.

This printer and technology are that ‘easy button’ for startups to test their ideas. In less than two minutes it makes a microfluidic chip where they can study the behaviors fluids smaller than a strand of hair.

“With rapid prototyping or adaptive manufacturing through 3D printing, we can take a file and turn it into a prototype in less than a day so already we’ve cut out months of waiting time,” McAllister said.

Typically, companies must get molds to test their ideas. Those can be expensive and take months to get. Then, the process starts all over again if it doesn’t work.

“These are things we would use in a lab to test drugs, to separate out cells to tell us whether or not someone has cancer or how somebody’s sickness is doing,” McAllister said.

The technology is bringing ideas faster than ever to life, changing the future of medicine.

“It’ll make medicine so much more powerful,” McAllister said.

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