Healthcare Innovation Fertile Territory for 3D Printing | ETF Trends

The ARK 3D Printing ETF (CBOE: PRNT) often goes overlooked in the ARK Investment Management stable of exchange traded funds, but for tactical investors looking to hone in on a specific disruptive growth concept, the fund merits consideration.

PRNT follows the Total 3D-Printing Index and was one of the first ETFs to isolate a single disruptive theme. However, 3D printing intersects with a variety of other emerging growth concepts, indicating that PRNT is more than meets the eye. Look no further than healthcare innovation as an avenue that will support 3D printing growth in the years ahead.

“New research by RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences suggests that effective wound healing may be aided by replicating a crucial component of our blood,” according to research conduced by RCSI University. “The finding, published in Advanced Functional Materials, was led by researchers at the Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) and SFI AMBER Centre based at RCSI’s Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine.”

Passively managed PRNT offers leverage to its namesake, as its benchmark “is composed of equity securities and depositary receipts of exchange-listed companies from the U.S., non-U.S. developed markets and Taiwan that are engaged in 3D printing-related businesses within the following business lines: (i) 3D printing hardware, (ii) computer-aided design (‘CAD’) and 3D printing simulation software, (iii) 3D printing centers, (iv) scanning and measurement, and (v) 3D printing materials,” according to Ark Investment Management.

This confirms that the ARK ETF, although it focuses on a single industry, has depth and breadth — relevant traits because they underscore the applications that 3D printing has across myriad industries. That includes healthcare, where 3D printing’s applications are on a seemingly never-ending rise.

Results from the RCSI study “showed that application of the 3D-printed PRP implant helped to speed up the healing of the wound by enabling efficient vascularisation (meaning development of new blood vessels) and inhibiting fibrosis (scarring/thickening of tissue), both of which are essential for effective wound healing,” according to the researchers.

Other corners of the healthcare space where 3D printing is making inroads include donated organs and dental implants, among others. As 3D printing continues advancing, production costs will decline and efficiencies will be realized, allowing for enhanced customization, which is relevant to the healthcare end market.

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.