ADAM, a 3D bone printing project that has already secured partnerships with ARMI, Stanley Black & Decker, and Big Pharma, is weeks away from launching the first clinical trials. But the project’s ambitions reach much further than simply creating bones.
What differentiates ADAM from similar biotech projects is its innovations in speed and precision, as well as the project’s significantly lower production costs. The bones are printed using ceramic bioglass and modified biopolymer on Kwambio printers, cutting average market printing costs by nearly 50% — from $0.12-$0.15/cm2 down to just $0.08.
Such low production costs means increased accessibility to vital transplants, which are often prohibitively expensive.
In the past 20 years, more than 150,000 people have died waiting for transplants. In the United States, a knee replacement, one of the most common bone replacement procedures, typically runs around $50,000. For many people in need of surgery, a standard graft or transplant simply is not an option.
The ability to produce functional, custom-built bones without the need for grafts or human transplants has huge implications for our perception of the human body. Despite medical triumphs in many areas, serious bone damage due to accidents, old age, and disease remain very real — and unexpected — threats to quality of life. The human body continues to be understood as fragile. Can ADAM change this?
Volodymyr Usov, CEO of ADAM, says yes. “It’s definitely time to reshape our attitude towards bodies and find new solutions. We believe that we are doing the right thing for all people, and that is the strongest motivation.”
A distinctive component of ADAM is the creation of Digital Body Atlases — complete body scans from which individuals can replicate their bones when needed. Instead of painful, intrusive bone grafts or long waits for a bone transplant from a compatible donor, individuals simply print off a replica of the needed bone from their personal Atlas.
With the ability to print and replace any bone in the body as needed, ADAM stands to revolutionize not just healthcare, but our conception of the human body itself.
Pre-clinical trials of bone transplants were completed last month and the first human trials will begin in early October.