Copper3D (www.copper3d.com) is a chilean company born in an academic process in the Master of Innovation at the Adolfo Ibañez University, the most important business school in LatAm. In this academic program, the founding team of this company met:
Andrés Acuña, Electronic Civil Engineer with 14 years of experience in the mining sector and specializations in automation of mineral processing.
Daniel Martínez, Physical Therapist & MBA, with 13 years of experience in management, marketing, innovation and new business models in the Healthcare industry.
Claudio Soto MD, Physician with vast experience in rehabilitation, regulatory aspects of Healthcare and process management in large health institutions.
Later, we added Fabrizio Alvarez, Mechanical Engineer with a lot of technical and commercial experience in the world of 3D printing.
We realized that more than 40% of amputees suffer some type of dermic disorders due to the use of their prostheses. This phenomenon is also observed in non-amputee patients who use orthoses. The reason? The high bacterial burden present in these medical devices, which in contact with the skin can cause dermatitis, folliculitis, fungal or bacterial infections, among others.
But then we realized that the problem of bacterial burden is much more complex and huge: According to some studies, about 50% of all HAI’s (Hospital Acquired Infections) worldwide are due to the bacterial burden of medical devices that are difficult to maintain clean and sterilyzed.
After a long process of research, development and innovation, we realized that the ideal solution to this problem involved the molecular intervention of the material with which these medical devices are manufactured. After discarding many options, we began prototyping a new polymer for 3D printing with an internationally patented additive containing copper nanoparticles, extremely effective in eliminating fungi, viruses and bacteria but safe for humans at the right concentrations.
With successful preliminary trials in Chile, we decided to start with the industrial manufacture of this material in Europe for later commercialization.
At the moment we have our first product available, it is a high quality PLA polymer with additive concentrations of 1 and 2%, it is called PLACTIVE since it is a PLA polymer with “active" properties in the elimination of a wide range of microorganisms.
We also developed a medical grade material called NANOCLEAN, it is a high quality PETG polymer with additive concentrations of 2 and 3% and aimed at more specific purposes in the world of medical devices.
Both, our 3D printing materials and objects printed with our material, mostly medical devices, have been studied and validated as fully antibacterial by the Microbiology Laboratory of the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso.
Our project has been supported since its inception by Codelco Tech (innovation division of Codelco), which from the first minute saw the tremendous potential of this new technology. We are already in the third round of investment with them. Copper3D has been incubated by ImagineLab and accelerated by NXTP Labs, two of the most important and renowned accelerators of the region. We also applied our project to Startup Chile where we are been selected among the best 8 of more than 1,300 Startups that applied worldwide in 2017! A great pride for us!
We strongly believe in the impact that hard work, a great team and new technologies have on the quality of life of people, and in the power of innovation to reshape the future.
Join us in this Antibacterial 3D Printing Revolution!