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Utilising 3D printing for rapid prototyping of healthcare technologies


From health and wellness to diabetes and wound care, Nanoflex’s highly sensitive and accurate sensors enable the production of powerful healthcare technologies that help improve lives.

Challenge

A growing demand for non-invasive solutions for managing diabetes led Nanoflex to consider how the company’s high-specification sensors could be applied to the monitoring of blood glucose levels. The team designed a sensor that was able to reliably track changes in blood glucose levels through miniscule amounts of sweat produced on the skin. However, despite possessing extensive electrochemical and entrepreneurial knowledge, they required further expertise in order to develop a wearable device that could be brought to market.

Having been based in Sci-Tech Daresbury’s equipped laboratories for a number of years, Nanoflex was aware of the rapid prototyping capabilities of the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) additive manufacturing facility on campus. The company decided to seek out support to utilise cutting edge 3D printing technologies to develop the device and open up the $13bn glucose monitoring market.

Solution

  • Industry and business expertise
  • Equipped laboratories for R&D
  • Rapid prototyping & 3D printing support
  • World-renowned business address
  • Networking opportunities within STFC and wider partner organisations
  • Business support programmes for medical technology businesses & IoTUK Boost

Benefits

left-hand quote markThanks to the latest 3D printing capabilities, the excellent design input and technical support available at STFC, we have been able to optimise the design of our prototype significantly quicker and more cost-effectively than through more traditional routes, and now have a product that we can demonstrate to investors.right-hand quote mark

Neville Freeman, CEO Nanoflex

STFC provided Nanoflex with equipped laboratories and high-specification equipment at its additive manufacturing facility on a flexible and affordable basis. This allowed the company to undertake extensive research and product development without the significant capital outlay usually required. With the assistance of expert STFC staff, Nanoflex was able to go from initial concept to a demonstrable prototype of the monitoring device, in just 8 weeks.

Establishing a base at the thriving Sci-Tech Daresbury campus also provided a connection into extensive regional, national and international networks. This enabled the company to seek out funding and investment opportunities, collaborative projects and to gain access to customers. In addition, the renowned address and appealing campus environment helped to attract new and high-skilled employees.

The prototype has now drawn significant interest from potential investors, and Nanoflex is looking to begin clinical trials and refine the design further in the hopes of bringing the product to market within the next 3 years.

Last updated: 06 December 2018

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