Striving for Success: Prayasta develops solution for personalized 3D printed soft-tissue implants

Striving for Success: Prayasta develops solution for personalized 3D printed soft-tissue implants

Aditya Chandavarkar
Aditya Chandavarkar is a established entrepreneur with business interests in manufacturing, innovative technology, training and consulting. Among other activities he the Co-Founder of Indian 3D Printing Network and is a subject matter expert on 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing with good grasp of Additive Manufacturing trends in the Region including India, APAC, Middleeast and Africa.
Vaishali Heblekar

An experienced content writer with a strong background in communications and branding. Vaishali also brings with her work experience in Corporate Communications in the manufacturing industry. Skilled in corporate and creative content writing, proof-reading and editing. Also adept at translation from Hindi and/or Marathi to English. Strong communication professional with a masters from Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai.

Prayasta was founded in 2017 by Vikas Garg (CTO) and Shilpi Sen (CEO) to develop a solution for personalized 3d printed soft-tissue implants.

In this special Startup Saturday article as part of the AM Chronicle Startup Series powered by AM Ventures we connect with the Co-Founders of Prayasta to understand more about their venture.

In a Nutshell

Prayasta was founded in 2017 by Vikas Garg (CTO) and Shilpi Sen (CEO) to develop a solution for personalized 3D printed soft-tissue implants and prosthesis for breast cancer survivors. This eventually evolved to cover all soft-tissue implants (nasal, chin, malar etc.) and even silicone stents (tracheobronchial, oesophageal etc.). Prayasta is also developing a Point-of-Care silicone 3D printer along with their Pro-version which is meant for full-scale production. Their technology, ‘implant-grade’ Elastomer Additive Manufacturing (iEAM) is at a pre-clinical stage currently. Novel Internal Architecture (NIA) is another aspect of their innovation which is a design methodology specifically developed for silicone 3D printing and soft-tissue implants. Prayasta has been granted patents for its technology in India and USA, and has filed a patent in Europe too.

Brains behind this

Prayasta develops solution for personalized 3D printed soft-tissue implants

Meet Vikas Garg and Shilpi Sen, the brain behind Prayasta. Vikas is a material scientist with 6+ years of experience in 3D printing advanced materials including biomaterials, while Shilpi is a communications expert with 15+ years of experience in both, the public and private sector. Prayasta has an inter-disciplinary and agile R&D team of 4 with expertise in machine design, electronics hardware, firmware and implant design.

“Prayasta is a National Technology Award winning and women-led startup and has developed a 3D printing technology for implant-grade silicone for making personalized prostheses and implants. We strongly believe that solutions should fit to the people rather than people fitting into the solutions.” – Shilpi Sen, Co-Founder, Prayasta

The Before and The After

3D Printed Soft Tissue Implant
3D Printed Soft Tissue Implant

The biggest current challenge with the implants that are meant to replace soft tissues as in breast, trachea, lip, chin, malar etc. is the lack of any personalization or customization. Consider the case of a silicone tracheal stent which is used as a replacement for part of the trachea. Most of them have a Y shape, uniform diameter and are available in limited sizes while in reality, tracheas rarely have a uniform diameter or branches limited to two. Second scenario is for breast and facial implants where most of the time only one side of the organ needs a replacement. In such cases, expectation from implants is to perfectly restore the body symmetry and physical appearance which again cannot be achieved using standard products made elsewhere. Third scenario where personalization is required, is for paediatric surgeries since kids being in various age groups comes in all sizes. That is why, Prayasta focuses on creating implants that fit to people rather than fitting people to existing implants.

The real reason for lack of personalization is the age-old manufacturing techniques for silicone products. While for other polymers and metals, 3D printing is shifting the trend from mass production to mass customization, a professional 3D printer for implant-grade silicone still does not exist due to various technical challenges when it comes to 3D printing silicone.

“Silicone is one of the best implantable materials today and yet not 3D printable. Conventional printers can not handle silicone due to its inherent chemical nature, cross-linking mechanism and form factor. That is why, we have taken a fresh approach and developed a novel technology for printing implant-grade silicone.” – Vikas Garg, Co-Founder, Prayasta

Technology Tales

Prayasta has completed its R&D for the world’s first 3D printer for implant grade silicone which is called Silimac P250. Using Silimac P250, Prayasta has developed a prototype of various implants, prostheses, and stents such as breast, lip, chin, malar and tracheal stent. Prayasta has also completed several in-vitro studies using their prototypes and are now completing animal trial phase.

Prayasta develops solution for personalized 3D printed soft-tissue implants
Silimac P250

Silimac P250 and its associated technology iEAM is significantly different than other 3D printing technologies in many ways. Firstly, it is obviously silicone material. All the 3D printers that are available in the market today can print either a thermoplastic, a photoactive polymer or a metal/alloy. However, silicone material does not resemble either of these materials in its characteristics and hence cannot be printed using conventional 3D printers. Second aspect is the grade of the material. While other machines print industrial grade of the materials, Silimac P250 is capable of printing implant grade silicone that are suitable for long-term of implantation in humans. Third biggest differentiator is the speed and the scale at which this is done. Silimac P250 is a medical clean room ready, production grade machine that can handle up to 14 litres of raw material at a time and print at 3x faster speed in comparison to any other elastomer printer.

In term of implants, 3D printed implants are personalized not only in terms of shape and size, but also in terms of weight, touch, feel, stiffness. At the same time, 3D printed breast implants having NIA are an order safer for patients in comparison to conventional ones as these are leakproof and suturable.

AM Ventures Asks

Along with the Technological innovations, it is important for start-ups to understand how their innovation is addressing the world’s biggest Environmental, Social and Governance Challenges. AM Ventures, our co-collaborator for this AM start-up series, poses a question to Prayasta on their contribution to the world’s biggest ESG challenges.

One of the problems that Prayasta addresses through its personalized 3D printed soft-tissue implants is after-effects of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer among women in the world with more than 2 million cases annually and India represents no exception to this trend with ~0.2 million cases annually. Around 80% of these women undergo mastectomy that is removal of a breast. Mastectomy is just not about removal of a breast. It causes significant depression, emotional distress, loss of body image and also self-confidence. Women tend to reduce their participation personally, professionally, socially as they are afraid of being stigmatized for a disease which is no fault of theirs. They become too conscious about their appearance and always tend to hide the mismatch or asymmetry caused by the mastectomy. Prayasta addresses this social problem which eventually becomes the seed for gender inequality and gender based social exclusion.

Funding Facts

Prayasta had bootstrapped and got support through various grants till now, such as Nidhi Prayas, Biotechnology Ignition Grant, Design Clinic Scheme, Tide 2.0, Elevate Call 2, with few more in the pipeline. Prayasta is currently raising funds through private investments.

They seek:

Raising funds and getting associated with mentors with domain expertise.

Contact Details

Website: www.prayasta.com

Email: vikas@prayasta.comshilpi@prayasta.com

Contact: +91 7411359365, +91 9811710152

A Quick Recap 

  • Founded in 2017 by Vikas Garg (CTO) and Shilpi Sen (CEO) to develop a solution for personalized 3D printed soft-tissue implants and prosthesis for breast cancer survivors.
  • Scope covers all soft-tissue implants (nasal, chin, malar etc.) and even silicone stents (tracheobronchial, oesophageal etc.).
  • Developing a Point-of-Care silicone 3D printer along with their Pro-version which is meant for full-scale production.
  • Their technology, ‘implant-grade’ Elastomer Additive Manufacturing (iEAM) is at a pre-clinical stage currently.
  • Novel Internal Architecture (NIA) is another aspect of their innovation.
  • Granted various patents for its technology in India and USA, and filed a patent in Europe too.
  • Focuses on creating implants that fit to people, rather than fitting people to existing implants.
  • Shifting the trend from mass production to mass customization.
  • Completed its R&D for the world’s first 3D printer for implant grade silicone which is called Silimac P250.
  • Silimac P250 and its associated technology iEAM is significantly different than other 3D printing technologies in many ways.
  • 3D printed implants are personalized not only in terms of shape and size, but also in terms of weight, touch, feel, stiffness. They are also leakproof and suturable.
  • Addresses the social problem related to breast cancer, which eventually becomes the seed for gender inequality and gender based social exclusion.
  • Bootstrapped and got support through various grants such as Nidhi Prayas, Biotechnology Ignition Grant, Design Clinic Scheme, Tide 2.0, Elevate Call 2, with few more in the pipeline. Currently raising funds through private investments.
  • Seeking to raise funds and get associated with mentors having domain expertise.

Disclaimer: This AM Chronicle Startup series is powered by AM Ventures and companies mentioned in the series are not necessarily funded or supported by AM Ventures directly, unless otherwise mentioned.

  • Tags

You May Also Like

Related Content

About the Author

Author Profile

Aditya Chandavarkar
Aditya Chandavarkar is a established entrepreneur with business interests in manufacturing, innovative technology, training and consulting. Among other activities he the Co-Founder of Indian 3D Printing Network and is a subject matter expert on 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing with good grasp of Additive Manufacturing trends in the Region including India, APAC, Middleeast and Africa.
Vaishali Heblekar
Content Curator at

An experienced content writer with a strong background in communications and branding. Vaishali also brings with her work experience in Corporate Communications in the manufacturing industry. Skilled in corporate and creative content writing, proof-reading and editing. Also adept at translation from Hindi and/or Marathi to English. Strong communication professional with a masters from Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai.