21 January 2021

Interview of Julien Payen by the 3D Printing Club

LATTICE MEDICAL deploys LATTICE SERVICES to support the development of medical devices through 3D printing!

Link to original article here.

Three years after its creation, Lattice Medical continues its developments and the finalization of implantable devices for the reconstruction of autologous adipose tissue, with a first application in breast reconstruction, the MATTISSE implant. This implant allows for simplified breast reconstruction as it regenerates the patient’s autologous adipose tissue and is completely resorbed from the body.

The year 2020 was rich in progress, we signed a partnership with the company Cousin Biotech in order to benefit from their technical means (clean room, tools) but also from their expertise (methods, regulations). This partnership has enabled us to install our first production unit, which is currently undergoing regulatory qualification. We are finalising our last preclinical studies in 2021 in order to attack the first-in-woman (1st clinical trial in 2022).

Meeting with Julien Payen, co-founder and director of Lattice Medical.

What are the advantages and constraints of 3D printing in the health sector ?

LATTICE MEDICAL works on the design, manufacture and development of medical devices for soft tissue. In particular, we have chosen to produce our devices by 3D printing and to integrate the production value chain as much as possible.

The main advantage of 3D printing is the agility that allows us to accelerate prototyping and perform many tests quickly compared to more traditional plastic processing methods such as injection or extrusion.

A second advantage for us is topological optimisation, which allows us to reduce the quantities of materials to be implanted in the body.

Today the main constraint in the medical environment is the youth of the technology, few players produce 3D printed implants, which means that the methods of qualification and validation of the processes with auditors and test providers are not yet optimal. There are also questions about the repeatability and reproducibility of each part.

Three years after Lattice Medical, you are launching Lattice Services, a brand new activity. Why this diversification?

Indeed, we have developed and integrated the entire value chain in our manufacturing process (extrusion / 3D printing / post-processing) for the manufacture of implantable medical devices from our biomaterials. We wish to develop this very specific expertise in two distinct offers:

■ Marketing of consumables (biomaterials) for medical 3D printing
■ Design, prototyping and production of medical devices by 3D printing

What targets are you aiming at? Are they already convinced or do they still need to be made aware of the advantages of 3D printing?

Our first targets are companies (start-ups, SMEs and large groups) in the medical device industry who wish to develop innovative medical devices thanks to new approaches using 3D printing.

We also wish to offer our services to research laboratories and hospital practitioners in the manufacture of tools and devices that will improve surgical practice.

Are special 3D printers needed to meet the expectations of the medical community?

The implantable medical environment is obviously highly regulated with certain constraints in order to guarantee a completely safe product for patients. We have to “control” our production environment, which often requires the use of a clean room. Similarly, in terms of manufacturing technology, we have to demonstrate that the process does not ‘pollute’ the product, that it is repeatable and reproducible, which is why we have a whole process qualification/validation programme that accompanies each piece of equipment. We have to demonstrate that the product we produce is biocompatible and sterile.

Coming from the textile industry, you were able to “translate” into the medical field… Isn’t that the best way to innovate?

The original idea of a lattice structure led us to quickly consider 3D printing, which extrudes a filament and ‘weaves’ a three-dimensional shape, as it were, just as textiles are made of a mesh of fibres. Generally speaking, I think that to innovate you have to know how to “think outside the box” and not reproduce classic patterns. Innovation is one of the fundamental values shared by the whole team.

How do you see the future?

We see the future on several roads:

■ Concerning the Mattisse implant, the completion of our clinical trials from 2022 and CE marking in 2024 for the marketing of the device.
■ On the same technological basis, we are developing other implants for soft tissue regeneration (skin for example) and integrating new emerging technologies (bioprinting, active devices)
■ In a few years, we could see ourselves setting up a very large production unit with several hundred printers, in a controlled environment, in order to produce our range of implants as well as our customers’ devices on a subcontracting basis

Thank you to Julien Payen for this interview!