Northwell Health (formerly North Shore-LIJ Health System) recently announced 3D bioprinting as the winner of its four-week-long medical innovation contest, where public voting decided which of three medical innovations developed by researchers and physicians would receive $100,000 in additional research support.
Michael J. Dowling, president and chief executive officer at Northwell Health, presented a $100,000 check to 3D bioprinting researchers Daniel Grande, PhD, and Todd Goldstein of Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and Lee Smith, MD, chief of pediatric otolaryngology at the health system’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center, to continue their research and help make this groundbreaking innovation a reality.
3D bioprinting combines two emerging fields—3D printing and tissue engineering—to design and produce “bioprinted” implants that use a patient’s own living cells.
“3D bioprinting’s potential is almost limitless and has the potential to replace many different parts of the human body,” said Dowling. “Researchers envision a future with 3D printers in every emergency room, where doctors are able to print emergency implants of organs and bones on demand and revolutionize the way medicine is practiced.”
Northwell’s 3D printing team is led by Goldstein, an orthopedic research assistant who is working under Grande, an associate investigator at the Feinstein Institute, while completing his PhD in molecular medicine at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. They began their 3D printing work several years ago by conducting research with bioprinted 3D animal organs and bones. Other clinicians throughout Northwell Health, including cardiologists, otolaryngologists, thoracic surgeons and dentists, heard about Goldstein’s 3D printing abilities and asked to work with him. As the demand increased, they discussed the benefits of creating a centralized 3D printing lab.
Bolstered by the $100,000 investment and other support from Northwell Ventures to help commercialize their work, the 3D printing researchers will focus their efforts on providing end-to-end solutions for 3D printing in health care. On the researchers’ behalf, Northwell will consolidate all clinical 3D printing requirements throughout the health system and establish 3D printing services accessible to Northwell’s clinical service lines.
“As one of the nation’s most innovative health systems, we believe there’s strong clinical demand for 3D printing, and we’re working with our clinical partners and researchers to use these technologies to enhance patient care,” said Thomas Thornton, senior vice president and executive director of Northwell Ventures, which evaluates, develops and finances new spin-off companies based on ideas that originate with the health system’s physicians, researchers and other employees.
The other two medical innovations in the contest included:
• The Patient Identification Shield, a modern, non-transferable, easily removable temporary stamp that serves as an alternative to the ubiquitous but antiquated hospital wristband. Efforts are being led by Peter D. Costantino, MD, senior vice president and executive director of head and neck services at Northwell Health and chair of otolaryngology at Lenox Hill Hospital.
• The Blood Loss Manager, a device that staunches blood loss in the operating room, in trauma situations, and for military personnel on the battlefield. Research efforts are being led by Christopher J. Czura, PhD, vice president of scientific affairs at the Feinstein Institute.
“Both the Patient Identification Shield and the Blood Loss Manager also show remarkable promise, and we will look for future opportunities to pursue additional research and future investment,” said Thornton.
Visit www.northwell.edu/looknorth to learn more about these innovations.