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 user 2008-01-28 at 2:02:00 pm Views: 50
  • #19343

    HP expands inkjet technology to save lives
    CORVALLIS – That old inkjet printer sitting in your home can do more than turn out letters.Hewlett Packard is expanding its market beyond office equipment and are now targeting the medical community. You may never look at your inkjet printer the same way again.”From photo printers where you can get a picture of your baby,” said HP Printing Manager Joe Dody.

    To a medical advancement.
    “This idea of a cartridge that has inks in it, we have retooled that to be able to print drugs,” said Casey Miller of HP Business Development.Dody and Miller helped develop a way to precisely place a drug onto stents for heart patients.”You have thousands of nozzles used to print millions of drops on a page,” said Miller. “We can take this technology and print drugs on the stent itself.”A stent is a mesh tube used to unblock clogged arteries. Dr. Rick Padgett with the Oregon Heart and Vascular Center of Eugene said one problem with stents is the high chance of the vessels becoming blocked again.

    Miller said the new technology can reduce that risk.
    “The benefit of that, is improving their stent and the safety of the device.”HP engineers play out their unique innovations in a Corvallis lab they refer to as the ‘sandbox.’”It’s taken many many years to evolve the technology to build these print heads,” said Dody.

    He explained each print head applying medicine to stents, or ink on paper, takes a few weeks to make.”We’re putting electrical circuits on them and we’re putting fine physical features that allow us to route small amounts of ink to these chambers.”While hundreds of workers and machines produce the tiny element used in standard printer cartridges, and soon in heart patients, Hewlett Packard is reaping the benefits.”So for us, because there’s a lot of value there, we can offer our technology, provide them a benefit and also get good profits,” said Dody.The inkjets can also code prescription drugs to help distinguish ‘real’ from ‘counterfeit.’HP said this is only the beginning of their mark in the medical industry. The company plans to unveil another innovation this spring.