Life Sciences & HealthcareJune 15, 2023

Smartweave: Taking personalized medicine to the OR

Using AI and 3D modeling software, Smartweave produces customized surgical implants that reduce complications and improve patient outcomes.
Avatar Shoshana Kranish

In an era where personalized medicine is not just a dream but an evolving reality, Boston-based startup Smartweave is at the vanguard of this megatrend. Harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 3D visual technologies, Smartweave is customizing surgical implants to reduce complications, enhance patient outcomes, and revolutionize the surgical solutions sector.

A new era of surgical precision

Today, medicine has transcended the one-size-fits-all approach, embracing personalized treatments tailored to individual patients’ needs and risk profiles. At the heart of this shift is Smartweave, an innovative startup poised to redefine surgical care with its AI-driven, 3D bioprinting platform. By focusing on highly impactful areas like stress urinary incontinence affecting one in three women worldwide, and orthopedic soft tissue repair, Smartweave is set to transform the surgical implants landscape.

The range of solutions Smartweave produces implants and tissues for

Striking at the heart of surgical complications

Complications from surgical procedures, ranging from pain and bleeding to inflammatory reactions, can profoundly impact patients’ quality of life. Smartweave’s cutting-edge technology promises to significantly reduce these risks, delivering highly tailored implants that fit perfectly to patients’ unique anatomical and physiological needs. The company’s current focus is on transforming the surgical implants used for stress urinary incontinence and for orthopedic soft tissue repair and healing.

Stress urinary incontinence affects one in three women worldwide; the problem manifests as involuntary urination due to pressure in the abdomen and a leaky bladder. No medical prophylaxis or therapy currently exists for treating stress urine incontinence. The surgery, though minimally invasive and typically successful, can result in complications from ill-fitting or ill-placed implants, leaving women who chose to undergo it with further medical afflictions including pain, bleeding, and scarring from inflammatory reactions. Medical data on post-op complications ranges greatly, with some studies showing it as low as 3% and others as high as 45% – either way you spin it, there’s a risk involved, and it’s part of what Smartweave is seeking to mitigate.

Similarly, Smartweave is developing surgical implant solutions for orthopedic soft tissues that can enable more effective repair and healing of rotator cuff tears, ACL tears and other similar injuries. Nearly 500,000 rotator cuff surgeries are performed each year in the United States alone with complication rates of a low as 10% for small tears and as high as 50% for massive tears. Secondly, ACL reconstruction is a common procedure performed over 100,000 times annually utilizing various autograft and allograft constructs with complication rates in the 30% range and as long as one year recovery for return to sporting activities. 

Expanding the boundaries of surgical care

But Smartweave’s vision transcends individual patient care. With its innovative platform enabling hyper-local fabrication of implants, the company aims to democratize surgical care on a global scale. Today, Smartweave’s focus is on stress urinary incontinence and orthopedic soft tissue surgeries, but the potential applications of its technology are limitless. The company believes Smartweave Inside – which includes the amalgamation of the start-ups datasets, software programs, training methods, 3D designs and simulations and more – could become the new standard in implant treatments and precision drug delivery devices across a myriad of surgical care segments.

A Smartweave surgical implant

The power of 3D for optimal outcomes

As a member of the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab, the startup accelerator inside Dassault Systèmes, Smartweave leverages BIOVIA and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to create virtual twins for designing customizable implants. This approach enables rapid product optimization, streamlining the design and simulation process to produce perfect-fit implants for patients.

By integrating virtual twins, business intelligence data, and predictive modeling into its design platform, the company is unlocking the potential of regenerative medicine. This capability will further enhance Smartweave’s ability to deliver high-quality, personalized surgical solutions at scale.

Investing in the future

Smartweave is part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab, a startup accelerator designed to foster innovation that positively impacts society. From medical inventions to energy solutions, startups like Smartweave are using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to engineer a better future. More information about Smartweave is available through their website.

Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Lab aims to foster innovation that will positively impact society in a variety of fields. From inventive solutions in the energy industry to medical inventions and beyond, the startups participating in the lab use the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and related software to engineer a better future. Learn more about these startups:

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