Keynote 7 | Sep. 11, 12:00 CEST (06:00 NYC, 18:00 SGP)

Responding to a global pandemic crisis with 3D printed nasopharyngeal swabs

Prof. Ho, Chaw Sing, National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore – NTUitive Pte Ltd

Session Chair
Hermann Seitz | Lehrstuhl für Mikrofluidik, Universität Rostock, Germany

As the world awaits for a Covid-19 vaccine, the number of Covid-19 positive patients continues to increase unabated globally. Beyond social distancing, it is now a widely adopted practice for countries easing lock-down measures to deploy mass testing on its population. To support this mass testing during a period of supply chain disruption, we describe the successful development of a novel, cost-effective and manufacturable 3D printed nasopharyngeal swab for the detection of SARS-COV-2 virus. As a digital technology, 3D printing enables the fabrication of a product based on a digital design without going through the traditional mold fabrication and tooling qualification, resulting in rapid product development and validation cycles. The clinical efficacy of the swab design was compared to an industry standard swab, carried out in a case-controlled study of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 against control patients who had tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Compared to the standard Copan FLOQswab, the 3D printed swab displayed excellent correlation of RT-PCR cycle threshold values on paired clinical testing, as well as excellent true positive and true negative agreements based on Cohen’s kappa.

Dr Ho Chaw Sing is the co-founder and Managing Director of NAMIC (National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster), a Singapore government platform initiative to catalyse innovation and scale industrial adoption of digital additive manufacturing technologies. Since its inception in late 2015, NAMIC has raised several millions in public-private funding to support various AM initiatives across several industry sectors. Before joining the public sector, he spent several years with HP Singapore and Chartered Semiconductor, where he undertook various executive roles in technology and product development, as well as supply chain operations. An advocate for 3D Printing and its role in the future of humanity, Chaw Sing has participated in numerous forums, including at the World Bank Group, Development Research Centre China, and the World Economic Forum - Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He is passionate about nurturing deep tech start-ups, and is an appointed mentor in various start-up accelerator programs. A prolific inventor in his early career, he holds 48 US/international patents.

Chaw Sing is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Engineering, and lectures on Industry 4.0 topics in the areas of cyber-physical integration and digital manufacturing technologies such as 3D Printing. He earned his doctorate (Ph.D) in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and has a Bachelor’s (honours) degree in Electrical Engineering with a major in Microelectronics, both from the National University of Singapore.