Each month, as our team digs through the array of medical device, 3D printing, and orthopedics stories on the web, a theme seems to emerge and dominate the MedTech headlines. Throughout June 2015, the most-read stories surrounded 3D printing of tissues and 3D printing’s overall potential in healthcare, now and beyond.

Here are our picks for the stories you missed in June 2015:

6 Devices Show 3D Printing’s Potential in the MedTech Industry

Exhibitors at the MD&M East and Atlantic Design & Manufacturing show displayed fascinating examples of 3D printing’s present and future healthcare potential.

Click on the above headline for photos, videos, and full information on these innovative devices, including a 3D printed wound-closure device, limb casts, a pre-operative conjoined twin skull model, and volume manufactured spinal implants.

3D Printed Skin Market Could Be Worth $1B by 2025

Many top American research universities are working to develop effective 3D printed tissues—but experts say that cosmetic companies may actually beat universities to the 3D printed skin market.

In fact, companies like L’Oreal and P&G plan to use 3D printed artificial skin to help with product testing. From cosmetics to replacement of damaged or diseased tissue, economists expect the 3D printed skin market to be worth $1B by 2025.

A Step Forward for New EU Medical Device Legislation

In late June, the European Council agreed on its approach to new medical devices and in vitro diagnostics (IVD) legislation.

Regulators in Europe have been discussing the need for medical device legislative framework reform for many years. Only the European Council can issue a call for new legislation. Since 2012, the new medical device legislation has been in the works with the European Parliament.

Under the new approach, notified bodies will undergo a stricter designation process and “increased monitoring by competent authorities”. Furthermore, notified bodies will be given the authority to “carry out unannounced factory inspections”. Other changes to the manufacturing side and product benefit to risk ratios are included in the article.

A New Frontier in Tracheal Repair

Submitted by Kapstone’s Marc von Amsberg, this article discusses yet another avenue of tissue engineering and 3D printing; the delicate and challenging process of tracheal repair.

Since your trachea, or windpipe, only has so much slack, doctors currently have two ways to fix it—remove the damaged part and attach the healthy ends, or extract some rib cartilage and graft it to the windpipe. Additional surgery carries risks, too.

What if your physician could instead fashion a new piece of windpipe from your own existing cells?

Researchers already know how to make cartilage from cells, nutrients, and collagen, but shaping that cartilage into a body part like a nose or a windpipe is more challenging.

This is where 3D printing comes in –the hope is to use a 3D printer to construct a scaffolding in order to cover it with a mixture of chondrocytes and collagen, which grows into cartilage. Indeed, there are 3D printers that can extrude living cells, but current options are few and expensive. With one bioprinter costing $180,000, companies like the Feinstein Institute and Makerbot (featured in the article above) are looking for another way.

Team Kapstone is here for you through July 2015 and all year long to Guide, Equip, and Inspire you in your Medical Device development. For up-to-date industry news and company information, please join us on our LinkedIn Company Page and follow our Medical Device, 3D Printing, and Orthopedics posts.

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