AM in the time of COVID-19Legislation

FDA hosting virtual town hall about 3D printed nasal swabs

No registration required for May 15, 2020 meeting

The United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will be hosting a virtual town hall meeting on May 15, 2020 at 1pm (ET) to discuss the production and use of 3D printed nasal swabs for COVID-19 diagnostics. The virtual meeting will welcome researchers, clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers to join in on the conversation.

Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, we’ve seen 3D printing employed in extraordinary ways to support healthcare workers. From face shields and masks to 3D printed ventilator components, the technology and the industry behind it have really stepped up. One particularly interesting area has been the production of 3D printed nasal swabs.

FDA virtual Town Hall 3D printed nasal swabs
3D printed nasal swabs by Carbon

From an early stage, it was apparent that one of the most effective ways of mitigating and understanding the spread of the virus was to test, test and test some more. However, many countries faced (and many are still facing) difficulties in ramping up testing rates because of lack of equipment. In this context, a handful of 3D printing companies, including Carbon, EnvisionTEC, Origin and others, have been working with medical professionals to develop 3D printable nasal swabs, which could be produced in the millions.

The upcoming town hall, hosted by the FDA in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affair’s (VA) Innovation Ecosystem and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 3D Print Exchange, seeks to dive into the state of 3D printed nasal swabs. Specifically, representatives from the three aforementioned agencies will talk about the proposed regulatory science research aims surrounding the design, production and use of 3D printed nasal swabs in this pandemic.

The hosts will present an overview of their collaboration, highlighting best scientific practices and processes for the production and validation of 3D printed swabs, as well as answer technical questions about “proposed scientific research regarding the development and validation of swabs manufactured through unconventional means for use with COVID-19 testing.”

Registration for the virtual town hall is not required, and dial-in information can be found here. For more details on how AM is helping in the fight against COVID-19, consult our dedicated forum.


Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault moved from her home of Montreal, Canada to the Netherlands in 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It was during her time in Amsterdam that she became acquainted with 3D printing technology and began writing for a local additive manufacturing news platform. Now based in France, Tess has over two and a half years experience writing, editing and publishing additive manufacturing content with a particular interest in women working within the industry. She is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM industry.

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