3D printing company EnvisionTEC has taken a significant step ahead in the development of 3D printed nasal swabs for COVID-19 testing. It has just announced that it has successfully completed a clinical trial for the testing swabs and, along with several of its FDA-registered customers, will begin producing up to 1 million swabs per day using the Envision One cDLM platform.
Nasal swabs are in high demand across the globe, as governments and healthcare providers seek to ramp up COVID-19 testing to better understand and cope with the spread of the virus. In response to a lack of nasal swab supplies, EnvisionTEC and a handful of other 3D printing companies got to work designing 3D printable swabs. EnvisionTEC’s swab, designed in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), has now successfully undergone testing, including a two-part absorption test; mechanical testing; a biological/chemical testing procedure to ensure the swab does not interfere with the RNA particles of PCA/reagents; and an IRB-approved clinical trial.
In the tests, the 3D printed swab demonstrated a key advantage: it had consistent mechanical performance even after being sterilized by steam at 270°F at 27 Pa in an autoclave. “Analytical results were positive, with a high level of concordance with the reference swab and with subjective results showing that [EnvisionTEC’s] swab performed neutrally or better than other test swabs,” explained Dr. Ramy Arnaout, MD, DPhil, Associate Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The reviewed nasal swab is designed to be 3D printed from E-Guide Soft material on EnvisionTEC’s Envision One cDLM printer, which is commonly used in the dental and medical device sectors. This means that many owners of the system are accustomed to producing medical-grade products and are thus prepared to produce the swab for COVID-19 testing. According to EnvisionTEC, a single Envision One 3D printer unit is capable of producing up to 2,400 swabs in 24 hours. Leveraging its capacity, as well as that of its customers, the company says it can produce up to a million swabs per day.
Those interested in placing an order for the 3D printed testing nasopharyngeal swabs can get in touch directly with EnvisionTEC here. Read more about why 3D printing is an effective manufacturing process for nasal swabs.