Nick Allan

Biotech in medical device companies

Biotech in medical device companies3 compelling reasons to pursue a Bio Services career in medical devices

2020 highlighted the need for Biotech in medical devices and shone a light on potential careers in this field.  The global CoVID-19 pandemic developed and grew over 2020 from the initial focus on traditional medical device development to rapid development and manufacture of PPE and with later emphasis on rapid ventilator builds.  This led to a deficit in quality assurance and regulatory affairs professionals needed to support the glut of new regulatory approvals required to clear the back log of innovations and registrations in countries clamouring to review and register new emergency products coming on line.

Through all of this, continued growth, demand for rapid testing, diagnostics development and therapeutic interventions are required to get lives back to normal.  Careers for Biotech in medical device companies abound for engineers and scientists skilled in both traditional science and engineering with development expertise in an ISO 13485 development environment.

The incredible pace of the CoVID-19 response has shown that R&D and product development cycles no longer have the luxury of time and creation in silos where science is developed independently and then implemented into a medical device over multi-year programs. Instead they now may need to occur in a condensed, single year cycle.

The new path forward is to develop the science and engineer embodiments together in real time.  The most efficient way to this is through using professionals who are able to comfortably navigate a product development cycle from both the biological research and  the engineering of the serviceable device perspectives using what I call a Bio Services perspective.

biotech in medical device companies

Here is my list of 3  reasons why a Bio Tech professional should consider a career in Bio Services:

  1. Bio Services is important work.  Mobilizing resources to rapidly respond to the global pandemic is just one example of Biotech in medical device companies.  Continued development of technologies and products to monitor, diagnose and treat infectious diseases is a core competency that will be a major focus of bio and medtech organizations for years to come.  Bio Services will take novel technologies like 3-D printing of organs (e.g., skin printing on demand, and organoids on a chip) from lab bench based proof of concept experiments to legitimate organ replacement options in the near future.  For example, Regenerative Medicine involves the re-growth or re-generation of damaged body parts or diseased cells requiring therapy only available at the cellular level.  As with printing tissues with 3-D printers, this field is still in its infancy. Early successes in clinical trials evaluating relatively simple tissues like cartilage regeneration are inspiring the promise of future whole organ regeneration making it “a game-changing area of medicine with the potential to fully heal damaged tissues and organs”.

 

  1. Bio Services is very interesting work. The products we are developing are remarkable projects that take cutting edge, breakthrough technologies and turn them into actual medical devices helping improve and extend patient lives in the near term.  Some of these projects would have only been considered science fiction a few years ago.  Currently our integrated, multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and engineers are working together to support CAR-T (Chimeric Antigen Receptor-T Cell) technologies, microfluidic based lab-on-a-chip diagnostic platforms, organ growing 3D printers and ingestible diagnostics (Nanobots and Smart Drugs) that can be used to diagnose and treat disease, as it is trackable on its journey throughout the body.

 

  1. There is a lot of work to do. Growth in this field will continue for the foreseeable future.  Most certainly there will be a heavy demand on pandemic preparedness and product development around meeting the needs in this space.  Looking to the future beyond the pandemic, we have been privileged to witness the development and adoption of several remarkable breakthroughs in biological research and development.  These include 3D tissue printing, advancements in cell therapy and regenerative medicine and even gene editing.  Developing these technologies into commercial products and practical medical devices will be the work of this decade and beyond.

I believe that the best way to solve client development problems in these developing areas is by combining a traditional engineering perspective and approach with the knowledge and tools of modern molecular biology, microfluidics and tissue therapies. Building on these areas, exciting opportunities beckon at this engineering/biology interface of Biotech in medical device companies.

If the challenges and opportunities I’ve described above sound like work you would love to perform, I recommend StarFish Medical as a great place to work.   Our work environment is always evolving as we work on new products and designs, and continue to learn.   We are a passionate and dynamic team of ingenious medical device developers.  Unique opportunities are plentiful and no two days are the same.

At StarFish Medical you will be part of an award-winning, multi-disciplinary development team which prides itself on delivering elegant solutions, exceptional customer service and final products which enable commercial success.  Don’t just take my word for it.  Check out our video here.

Nick Allan is the StarFish Medical Bio Service Manager. He applies creative thinking and innovation to all phases of biotech projects including product definition and sustaining engineering.


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