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New Partnership in High-Tech Medical Software

Materialise NV : 25 July, 2003  (Company News)
Fluent Europe Ltd and Materialise, two companies involved in the production of software used for high-tech medical applications, have announced a new partnership aimed at expanding the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in the medical industry.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) or the study how fluids flow through channels is rapidly growing in importance in the areas of medical, and health care related fluid mechanical problems. The kind of technology that shows how fuel goes through an engine can now be used in the same way to find out f.i. if our bloodstream is still up and running as it should be.

As an example of this promising technology, flow through a pulmonary artery has recently been studied. The results were used to highlight areas that can result in clotting sites or aneurysms. More information about this interesting case study can be found on page 4 of the Materialise Gazette, volume 2, 2003.

Materialise, a world leader in software development for rapid prototyping and industrial design applications, is active in a range of markets. It has a specialist medical division producing software packages including an interface called Mimics, which allows CT and MRI scans, for example, to be rigorously analysed via advanced 3-D image processing visualisations. The software integrates with the company's CAD package (Magics) facilitating the rapid development of products such as implants, aiding planning and design, and subsequent surgical implantation.

Fluent is the world leader in CFD software and services for greatly varying applications including the bio-medical and pharmaceutical industries. CFD has the ability to virtually model flows of liquids, gas and suspended solids, potentially removing the need for extensive and time consuming experimentation, offering significantly reduced lead-time and costs for medical device and drug development. Fluent now has a specialist healthcare team and has seen strong growth in the sales of its software and consultancy services within the industry.

The partnership is seen as beneficial to both parties, with each offering the highest level of expertise in its field. Commenting, Materialise UK Managing Director, Phil Kilburn says: 'We expect CFD to become a very important and widely used element in the medical design process. In order to continue to excel in our rapid prototyping services in the medical arena we feel it's important that we target this area. We could not have chosen a better partner to help us enhance our capability than Fluent, and we are already looking into the possibility of developing a software interface that specifically links into Fluent's CFD software package.'
Atul Karanjkar, Fluent's Business Development Manager of Healthcare, says: 'We believe our partnership with Materialise is important in getting across the message of exactly what the potential of CFD is in the bio-medical and pharmaceutical industry. Materialise, like us, is a leader in its markets and as such, very influential. We can only learn from such expertise in further tailoring our software to the medical industry's needs, and I'm sure that the pervasiveness we have achieved in the other 21 industries our software is used in will be replicated in this industry.'
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