Where’s the Money for 3D Printing Human Organs?

(Guardian) The revolutionary, maddening, promising and currently very unprofitable world of bioprinting is examined by the Guardian in an article featuring breast-tissue bioprinter company TeVido. 3D Printing Insider provided a look at the company earlier this year in late April. Click here to read about TeVido’s goal to produce customized breast implants for reconstructive surgery for women who have undergone mastectomies as a result of breast cancer. The TeVido process involves the use of a 3D bioprinter that processes a composite protein material of gelatin and alginate, which are deposited via a modified inkjet type printer on to a gel substrate.

Laura Bosworth, CEO and co-founder of TeVido acknowledges in the Guardian article that her company faces a grueling and unprofitable years-long trip to perfect its 3D printing technology that produces implants for breast-cancer patients. Bosworth estimates seven more years and $40m of tests, including innumerable grant applications and attempts to woo reluctant venture capitalists. At the end, if TeVido succeeds, it might be fighting for only a tiny portion of a market that will grow to a negligible $1.9bn in value by 2025, according to Lux Research, a research firm for emerging technologies.

In the meantime, it’s vanity that may pay the bills. TeVido’s potential solution for lumpectomies, for instance, could expand to the billion dollar U.S. market for breast augmentation, printing implants and nipples, which currently are often tattooed back on.