My short bio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFql2FeA3GA
My Proof: https://twitter.com/syndaver/status/597870804819378177
My short bio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFql2FeA3GA
My Proof: https://twitter.com/syndaver/status/597870804819378177
Comments: 296 • Responses: 93 • Date: 2015-05-11 13:55:28 UTCsource
renaldo68641 karma2015-05-11 14:23:45 UTC
How much information do The Sharks get before hand? I can understand a quick 6 figure decision, but a quick 7 figure decision is something that requires more planning and foresight. What really is their role after the show and after you get the money?
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syndaver35 karma2015-05-11 14:38:40 UTC
There is some due diligence beforehand and then even more afterward. Also each deal is different but what typically happens is that a proxy board member (not the Shark) is placed on your Board of Directors to look after the investor's interest.
renaldo68618 karma2015-05-11 15:24:19 UTC
Is that $3 mil on the spot legally binding? Do you sign some sort of waver that says they can back out?
syndaver30 karma2015-05-11 15:30:25 UTC
Nothing is legally binding until you sign a contract - so either party can back out for whatever reason.
shotty29329 karma2015-05-11 14:15:18 UTC
How long does the assembly of one cadaver take?
syndaver41 karma2015-05-11 14:53:19 UTC
It takes about three weeks from start to finish for a standard unit.
TheMan0fSteel11 karma2015-05-12 00:14:14 UTC
You just can't stop blowing my mind, can you? This is absolutely amazing.
syndaver10 karma2015-05-12 00:19:01 UTC
It's fun work.
dellaint4 karma2015-05-12 00:15:46 UTC
Is that one person working on one or does a team take 3 weeks to do it?
syndaver11 karma2015-05-12 00:17:12 UTC
Its a very large team making multiple units simultaneously. It would probably take one person several months just to complete one unit.
dellaint3 karma2015-05-12 00:24:16 UTC
That's really awesome, thanks for the quick reply. This is one of the best AMA's I've read on here in a long time, well done.
syndaver6 karma2015-05-12 01:34:08 UTC
Sure no problem.
wezzlewoo25 karma2015-05-11 14:19:37 UTC
Nice work on Shark Tank, that seems to be a nerve wracking gig.
Are you guys hiring?
If so what kind of fields are you looking at?
syndaver31 karma2015-05-11 15:25:22 UTC
It was stressful - probably more so for me than for someone used to the attention. We hire all types, engineers, physicists, chemists, artists, and tinkerers.
packet_splatter16 karma2015-05-11 17:05:31 UTC
Where are you based out of?
syndaver25 karma2015-05-11 17:41:43 UTC
We are in Tampa, Florida but we also have a facility in Phoenix, Arizona.
Psychoboy4 karma2015-05-11 23:50:16 UTC
What does the facility in Phoenix do? That is in my neck of the woods.
syndaver10 karma2015-05-11 23:55:43 UTC
The Phoenix lab is responsible for validating our products in conjunction with staff at the Univ of Arizona College of Medicine. They also support all of our clinical activities in the western US and perform R&D on an upcoming model called SynDaver Basic.
WiseWithTime1 karma2015-05-12 02:11:01 UTC
Neat! Is there any way you can partner with USF?
syndaver2 karma2015-05-12 02:18:31 UTC
We do partner with a few docs at USF - most notably Luis Llerena and Fred Sloane. The partnership could be much more elaborate but they have to want it.
curtyjohn21 karma2015-05-11 15:00:36 UTC
I understand you will be pretty excited about the recent investment (my sincere congratulations, by the way, enjoyed the video). What level of trepidation accompanies that excitement? And, more to the point, what kind of worries do you have regarding the potential compromises of your vision?
I really admire the nobility of your invention and research, and I can't help but feel some worry that financial interests could corrupt the philanthropy (or I should say benevolence for clarity) of your goals. I don't much understand finance and investment, but is the 25% and half the board take a lot of control away from you? Does it take away more control than you'd like?
syndaver56 karma2015-05-11 15:50:13 UTC
We are all renters here. In 50 years i'll be gone and someone else will be spending whatever is left in my bank account.
I know that this company will leave my hands eventually, but I like building things. I will just build something else.
Hdoerr4421 karma2015-05-11 14:17:11 UTC
Has any new huge development happened since making this deal?
syndaver39 karma2015-05-11 15:14:17 UTC
Nothing that was not planned beforehand. I am excited about the development of the preemie and newborn versions of the Synthetic Human platform and also the continued development of the SSH Patient (our high-end model with open-source physiology).
ThePrevailer10 karma2015-05-11 21:51:42 UTC
preemie and newborn versions
preemie and newborn versions
That's a great aspect I hadn't even thought of when considering the ramifications. I imagine there's not a lot of donated infant cadavers to work with.
syndaver23 karma2015-05-11 21:54:02 UTC
They are pretty much impossible to obtain.
buster_the_dogMC3 karma2015-05-12 01:48:23 UTC
on the show, you said the adult model was more expensive than a real cadaver, but would the newborn versions be worth less than a real one?
syndaver12 karma2015-05-12 01:51:51 UTC
I don't know that newborn cadavers are available so when we come out with the newborn and preemie models we won't be competing against anything.
buster_the_dogMC3 karma2015-05-12 01:55:44 UTC
Ah, well good luck to you, and great job on the shark tank deal!
syndaver4 karma2015-05-12 01:57:22 UTC
Thank you Sir.
marcust71919 karma2015-05-11 14:09:48 UTC
What is the assembly process like? I imagine it is difficult building something as complex as your models in any timely manner.
syndaver25 karma2015-05-11 15:05:05 UTC
It's a lot like an automobile assembly line. We have specialists working on each and every organ system and these get built into subassemblies. At final assembly the subas are joined and the unit goes to final test.
igetthatreference4 karma2015-05-11 21:30:52 UTC
There's organs too???? From the episode it just looked like bone and muscle tissue! That's awesome!!!
syndaver22 karma2015-05-11 21:35:10 UTC
Yes all the real goodies are inside. There is a full venous and arterial system too - with a chambered heart pumping heated blood - drainage flow on the venous side and peristaltic on the arterial.
igetthatreference13 karma2015-05-11 21:39:34 UTC
I was interested before, but this just got about a hundred times cooler. You do awesome work!
syndaver10 karma2015-05-11 21:54:36 UTC
PirateMud6 karma2015-05-11 22:32:28 UTC
Do the veins have one-way valves in similar to a real venous side?
syndaver9 karma2015-05-11 22:41:44 UTC
Not in the standard SSH but these are available as an upgrade. We typically only put venous valves in lower limb models that are going to medical device developers working on peripheral vascular treatments.
curriemuncher18 karma2015-05-11 14:05:48 UTC
Just wondering about the areas in which this technology would fall short when compared to cadavers. Is it possible to simulate certain diseases or trauma using your technology, i.e. go outside the scope of a recently deceased but otherwise healthy body?
syndaver26 karma2015-05-11 15:07:27 UTC
Well it is still a model so there is a great deal of complexity in a cadaver that our current model cannot match. However, as time goes by we will continue to get closer. Our models are indeed typically used to train where pathologies and / or injuries are present.
bigtallguy4 karma2015-05-11 19:56:13 UTC
are you exploring creating custom models built to order for specific pathologies and/or injuries?
also does syndaver have any obligations to the maintenance the testing dummy over the course of its expected lifetime?
syndaver9 karma2015-05-11 20:02:50 UTC
We do build models incorporating custom pathologies currently. The customer either supplies a set of DICOM images we can print from, we can pull from our own library, or go out and hire a model to collect images from.
Our basic warranty is one year but we typically sell models with a service contract that covers everything except deliberate destruction.
y_x_n5 karma2015-05-11 21:55:27 UTC
The customer either supplies a set of DICOM images we can print from
The customer either supplies a set of DICOM images we can print from
This is awesome.
What about functionality of organs? Say for example, we want to mimic a bowel injury -- can we pump the model with a blood-like fluid and have it circulate throughout?
Another question, I do research on CT contrast materials and I'm curious on how your model would look under a CT scan. Do the material compositions match that of the human body?
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 23:52:06 UTC
They are extremely close under fluro and ultrasound and pretty close under CT and MRI. The GI tract id fully patent from oral cavity to rectum but we have not vascularized the bowel in the standard model yet.
ManiacTigris17 karma2015-05-11 16:21:53 UTC
You said on Shark Tank that the cadavers are reusable. If someone performs a surgery on one, do they just replace the organs and tissues involved? If so, what kind of cost is it to replace individual parts?
syndaver19 karma2015-05-11 18:01:46 UTC
These are repaired just like cars are repaired - typically by replacing individual parts. Probably the most expensive single part is the skin - which costs $2500.
Exentrick4 karma2015-05-12 01:59:30 UTC
I'm curious, do you see price figures like that going down at any time(through better manufacturing or more volume)? And what is the cost of a typical cadaver compared to yours?
I'm not sure it was discussed very well in the show, which stuff like that normally is.
syndaver10 karma2015-05-12 02:15:54 UTC
The cost of a cadaver can be anywhere from $0-$10k but you also have to consider that with cadavers there are hefty transport and disposal costs, specialized staff requirements, specialized facility requirements - to say nothing of the biohazard risks. Use of a SynDaver avoids all of those things. If that were not enough we offer payment plans as well.
I ultimately hope to drive the cost of a basic body down to the $5k range but this will probably take a decade.
boopk5 karma2015-05-12 04:53:20 UTC
how do you ship the bodies?
syndaver8 karma2015-05-12 11:18:51 UTC
The go in some type of container, which may be an acrylic display tank, military storage case, or in our new storage system that kind of looks like Han Solo frozen in Carbonite. Whatever it is gets packed onto a pallet and shipped out via freight.
Predicted15 karma2015-05-11 14:21:36 UTC
What is your thoughts on the state of american health care, specifically when it comes to patents and prizing?
syndaver22 karma2015-05-11 15:29:14 UTC
I don't know that I am qualified to comment on the state of the health care system in general, but patents are a neccessity to protect the huge investments that are required on the device side. Without them there would be fewer new developments.
spoolinherd12 karma2015-05-11 16:56:30 UTC
I was told that the producers will encourage the Sharks to ask the tough questions that they may have missed, by way of an earpiece. Questions that often frazzle the "inventor" i.e.; "Why have you waited so long bring this to market? or "Are you currently in the hole? How much debt? " Did you know this beforehand? Also, you did a great job with your pitch, and your interest in developing the product rather than profit margins is truly admirable.
syndaver14 karma2015-05-11 17:50:59 UTC
We have actually been in business for 10 years and have funded all of these operations from cash flow. The SSH product line is relatively new - we started beta testing in 2012 and launched the following year due to the positive feedback.
Overall I think we are nearly balanced between tangible assets and actual debt. Our debt service is less than 0.5% of cash flow.
Also, thank you but I wish I had done better.
Suneal9 karma2015-05-11 16:59:59 UTC
How did Robert and his board share help the business side of your business? Are you growing/profitable as they were hoping? Do you have a CEO/sales-guy who helps with the growth plan?
Cool to see you on the show, good luck with your business!
syndaver12 karma2015-05-11 17:46:27 UTC
I remain at the helm of SynDaver and will be until we go public - or at least until I lose my controlling stake - and I will put this off as long as I can.
I did need business development help but not a CEO.
TheJackal89 karma2015-05-11 16:28:35 UTC
After signing the deal, how much do you actually talk to the shark (Robert) and what sort of ways do you have to communicate with him or his associates?
Also, when was your episode filmed?
syndaver10 karma2015-05-11 17:57:31 UTC
I think it was filmed in September last year. I don't expect to see Robert again unless they do some kind of followup segment. I imagine all of the Sharks do their work via proxies - he still has his own business to run of course.
MAK9118 karma2015-05-11 18:21:59 UTC
In the Shark Tank episode, you kept saying it would help with veterinary practices. How close are you to developing standard animal SynDavers?
syndaver12 karma2015-05-11 18:36:39 UTC
We are trying to get resources allocated to a canine model first due to the applications for military and police canine units, but I would like to create a feline model as well. And then once all of this is done I would like to start creating archaic humans - which probably no one will want but it will still be cool.
robbdire2 karma2015-05-11 20:38:31 UTC
Damn if I ever have the money I'll buy one archaic human just as it'll be awesome.
syndaver8 karma2015-05-11 21:04:52 UTC
I would also like to make a "Sheldon" character from "The Big Bang Theory".
J-Bizzle12157 karma2015-05-11 21:23:37 UTC
I think a lot of people might enjoy a dead Sheldon...
syndaver13 karma2015-05-11 21:33:19 UTC
Aww I like Sheldon.
lcampbell898 karma2015-05-11 15:40:58 UTC
Do you ever think you would be able to imitate tissue damage and repair in the syn tissue? Would the integration of synthetic blood be a viable thing for you?
Then on a more business / TV side. What changed in the original agreement from shark tank. Or did it even go through? Hear that it often doesn't actually pan out after. Imagine you also have many people approach you to invest post shark tank.
syndaver10 karma2015-05-11 15:53:57 UTC
It would be nearly impossible to imitate a synthetic healing effect that imitates the biological without the incorporation of living cells. One of our patents does cover the use of living cells for a similar purpose but we are not focused on that right now.
I don't have any information regarding what happens with other parties but I would not be surprised at all to learn that deals end up not going through. In my particular case I am limited in what I can say due to a number of agreements that are in place.
MehPsh8 karma2015-05-11 17:19:59 UTC
How do you feel knowing you got the biggest deal ever in shark tank history, yet you are one of the few people that aren't doing it for the money?
Congrats and keep up the good work.
syndaver22 karma2015-05-11 17:40:28 UTC
I am happy and apprehensive. I just want to hire more people so we can produce more of what we already have and develop new things that we don't yet have.
For my own part I already have everything I need and much more than I deserve.
wobernein8 karma2015-05-11 17:52:05 UTC
For emergency responders, two of the biggest threats are loss of blood and loss of the airway. Many of the expensive "dolls" used only be done in sterile environments and lack a sense of urgency. In this way, live animals provide the extremely adequate training but of course, the cost is enormous. Any plans on making something for those purposes?
syndaver23 karma2015-05-11 18:33:49 UTC
We have a new model called the SSH patient with an onboard central nervous system that will cycle the body through the stages of hypovolemic shock if it is injured and not treated appropriately. The heart will develop an ahrrythmia, vasoconstriction will kick in, breathing will become labored etc.
Defrostmode7 karma2015-05-11 19:28:10 UTC
I have to say, as amazing as everything else is, this right here blows my mind.
syndaver7 karma2015-05-11 19:42:27 UTC
Yeah even in its early state it is awesome. And we are still adding features - it is going to blow people away.
ekoh88737 karma2015-05-11 14:07:02 UTC
How is that proof at all...
syndaver15 karma2015-05-11 15:46:07 UTC
syndaver5 karma2015-05-11 15:05:43 UTC
Don't understand. What are we talking about?
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 15:46:17 UTC
HardKnockRiffe7 karma2015-05-11 14:21:41 UTC
When do you expect R&D to subside to profit? You mentioned in another thread that most of your expendable profit goes back into the company by way of hires and R&D, so I'm wondering when you anticipate R&D to slow down enough to turn a profit without dumping it all back into the company.
Also, does the SynDaver have any pathological properties? With an actual cadavers, students are able to, say, remove and dissect a tumor or see an enlarged prostate or hardened veins and so on. Does the SynDaver have the ability to mimic this?
Finally, since your episode with the sharks, has Robert done anything to establish a substantial business end of your company? It seems from the show (and your other thread) that your main concern is with the science of your product and not so much with the marketing of it and Robert mentioned near the end of your segment that he intended to hire a CEO to operate the business side. How has that gone and how has it been to work with someone as successful as Robert? Thanks!
syndaver15 karma2015-05-11 14:52:43 UTC
We have a pretty hefty pipeline of products on deck so we will be pushing them hard over the next couple of years. When we get closer to IPO in the 2018 time frame we will have to switch gears a bit because the game is different when you are publicly traded.
The standard SynDaver is disease free but we have done quite a bit of work in vascular pathologies such as coronary plaques, venous thrombus, and malformations such as aortic aneurysm. We have done some work on tumors and scar tissues as well but not as much as we have done on the vascular side.
Some of my comments were misconstrued. Really the only point I was trying to make was that profits are secondary to growth at this stage in our development. I remain the CEO of SynDaver and will remain so until the company goes public.
crazystu37 karma2015-05-11 17:56:34 UTC
I feel like if you'd used the phrase "personal wealth" instead of "money", people would have understood more. You're interested in the business doing well, but not for your own gain - for the business' benefit alone. At least, that's what my take away was.
syndaver15 karma2015-05-11 18:07:40 UTC
Yes I know I did a poor job of communicating my point. All I was trying to say was that it would not make sense to hold on to money, call it profit, and pay taxes on it instead of hiring a bunch of new engineers.
crazystu35 karma2015-05-11 18:14:58 UTC
I imagine most people would find themselves having the same thought. Being on the spot like that isn't normal for the general population and oratory skills are so greatly affected by the jangles. Don't be too hard on yourself.
syndaver15 karma2015-05-11 18:42:35 UTC
Well they did miss my point so I can't really blame anyone else since I was the only one there. I should have brought my wife.
videonerd6 karma2015-05-11 16:29:30 UTC
Which of your models would you recommend for orthopaedics surgeons CME skills training? I do a lot of that. Do your models work with arthroscopes?
syndaver13 karma2015-05-11 17:55:51 UTC
We have a really nice arthro knee that has a refillable joint. It is also ultrasound and fluoro compatible. Link is here: http://syndaver.com/shop/synatomy/arthrocentesis-knee/
RotBeam5 karma2015-05-11 18:12:57 UTC
How many bowls of cereal have you eaten in your life?
syndaver19 karma2015-05-11 18:40:49 UTC
I had a bowl of Captain Crunch the night before last. I am going to guess 11250 but that is probably not accurate.
Tor_Coolguy3 karma2015-05-12 04:45:09 UTC
Has the roof of your mouth recovered?
syndaver3 karma2015-05-12 11:19:55 UTC
Hah. I only had one bowl that night. CC is pretty abrasive. I have hurt myself before but I was not that hungry at the time.
cerpintaxt335 karma2015-05-11 15:52:22 UTC
What are some improvements you hope to make over the years? i.e. what benefits can a real cadaver offer that the SynDaver currently can't?
syndaver6 karma2015-05-11 16:11:21 UTC
Well we are constantly working on improvements to tissue fidelity and anatomical accuracy. It it's current state the SynDaver is a good platform for basic anatomical instruction but not ready for dissection at the graduate level - you still need a real cadaver for that.
wetanwild994 karma2015-05-11 17:44:23 UTC
I love this idea!
What was the biggest problem you faced when creating the syndaver? I imagine there are parts of the human body that are incredibly hard to re-create or re-create accurately.
syndaver10 karma2015-05-11 18:14:53 UTC
We took on the work in bite sized chunks. We made basic organ placeholders first, and then started adding details like renal pelvis in the kidneys and billiary tree in the liver - creating basic vasculature and then adding complexity as time goes by. We would have failed if we sought perfection in the first model.
What we have now is essentially the body equivalent of the first cell phones. in 20 years they will be radically more advanced.
wetanwild991 karma2015-05-11 18:23:47 UTC
Thanks for the reply! I hope all goes well from here on out. This is a wonderful idea and I hope you know that every day you are improving the lives of many!
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 18:34:52 UTC
Thank you Sir. We will do our best to keep this going.
sambogina4 karma2015-05-11 16:28:26 UTC
As a medical school student starting in the fall of this year, I wanted to ask you: Do you sell your product to research facilities exclusively, or do you sell your product to educational facilities as well? I know it is extremely expensive for medical schools to be constantly buying cadavers, so I know this product would be great in a medical educational facility. Heck, it might even help offset some of the costs of my yearly tuition as well.
syndaver7 karma2015-05-11 17:59:06 UTC
The SSH platform is currently being used in basic anatomical education programs but I think it needs further development to be useful at the graduate level. Right now our primary market is vascular surgery.
sambogina4 karma2015-05-11 18:11:48 UTC
Thanks for your response and our timely answer! My undergraduate degree was in biomedical engineering with an emphasis on polymer chemistry so when I saw the video of you on shark tank I was extremely impressed. It seems like your product is going to grow and become an extremely valuable tool for education over time - I'm excited to see what you will have available ten years from now. Oh - and welcome to reddit. You're really revolutionizing the study of the human anatomy here. Groundbreaking work, you should be very proud of yourself and your company.
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 18:46:25 UTC
xittix4 karma2015-05-11 16:45:45 UTC
Curious device! Never seen or thought about that sort of thing before myself. Interesting field I must say.
So what happens to it after an insertion is made? Does the design allow for the cut to be repaired?
Also can it replicate scar tissue?
syndaver7 karma2015-05-11 17:54:42 UTC
Small injuries can be repaired with steam but more serious injuries require suture, surgical glue, or replacement of the component.
AnInfiniteLoop4 karma2015-05-11 17:36:22 UTC
Can you give us a walkthrough on how the Shark Tank pitch goes? From what I've heard, it can take between an hour - two hours, while Shark Tank edits it down to about 30 minutes.. How much, if any, interaction occurs between you and the Sharks once the pitch is over?
Also, well done!
syndaver7 karma2015-05-11 18:10:04 UTC
First of all, thank you.
My pitch was really long because of all the questions - right around 2 hours. Unfortunately I don't think I can say too much else about the machinery of the show because of the NDA.
Xantrax4 karma2015-05-11 17:46:28 UTC
I loved the Shark Tank video, you are a straight forward man and I respect that.
How long does it take to grow/create the organic material you use?
syndaver6 karma2015-05-11 18:15:15 UTC
It takes about three weeks to make each body - and thank you very much.
slay-lady-slay4 karma2015-05-11 19:27:33 UTC
Do the "cadavers" have tissue equivalency for radiotherapy?
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 19:44:52 UTC
We have had some docs at Mayo work with our breast models for seed implantation training but the seeds will not impact the tissue the same as it would for live tissue. Is that what you meant?
Sebbes_4 karma2015-05-11 20:12:38 UTC
Have you not been able to find any medical companies willing to finance SynDaver? It seems like the type of project a R&D heavy company like Novo Nordisk would be interested in.
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 21:19:19 UTC
Early on I went to J&J ventures but they passed. Same for Kleiner Perkins and every angel investor I ever met.
igdub4 karma2015-05-11 20:25:24 UTC
Might want to fix that twitter link and/or add other proof as there's currently nothing that says you are who you claim who you are.
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 21:09:50 UTC
Thanks I fixed it.
TheJackal84 karma2015-05-11 16:27:26 UTC
What's the whole process of Shark Tank like, from start to finish?
syndaver8 karma2015-05-11 18:00:57 UTC
Really long. I signed a really long secrecy agreement about this so I can't really say much else.
Exentrick2 karma2015-05-12 02:10:16 UTC
Gonna piggy-back on this question/response.
NDA, fair enough.
How long did the filming process take per company? Like, some of the entrepreneurs have fairly elaborate displays. Yours as well. Would it be out of line to explain how those get set up? (I mean I saw one guy recently who had like 500 lbs of dirt in a bag supposedly...)
syndaver6 karma2015-05-12 02:19:56 UTC
The displays are designed and set up by a professional crew. I did not have to do anything but supply the materials. I think the pitch time varies quite a bit based on what I have heard - mine was about 2 hrs.
Ubb_zerve3 karma2015-05-11 19:13:50 UTC
I loved your episode of Shark Tank. How has the television exposure effected your business so far? I know your episode only recently aired but I'm curious about the immediate impact for a company such as yours.
syndaver6 karma2015-05-11 19:45:55 UTC
Its been super busy. There are a lot of media type duties right now and phone / email traffic is through the roof. And now I am also on Reddit apparently . . .
wow_shibe3 karma2015-05-11 16:47:50 UTC
Where are you based out of? I can see your company exploding in the future, the medical field is booming. My best wishes to you!
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 17:52:15 UTC
We are based in Tampa, FL but also have a facility in Phoenix, AZ.
wow_shibe4 karma2015-05-11 18:07:25 UTC
Any plans to come to MN due to Mayo? Just wondering, if you do, I'd love to work for you in the future! :P Also, if you're a hockey fan, GO LIGHTNING!
One last thing, I feel like your AMA should have gotten a lot more attention, you should try contacting Victoria at reddit, she's great at organizing AMAs and getting a lot of great questions!
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 18:48:07 UTC
Oh I only did this because someone on another thread asked me to. I'm not really after more pub at the moment - still dealing with the aftermath of the show.
wow_shibe2 karma2015-05-11 20:21:49 UTC
Hahah ok, well I really appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to do this!
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 21:13:53 UTC
No worries. I have come across a couple of trolls but the vast majority of folks on here are super nice.
FreshM3 karma2015-05-11 20:40:00 UTC
Do you think your products (esp. artificial muscle tissue, skin and ligaments/tendons) could be used as non-functional but "cosmetic" layer/structure on top of modern complex prosthetics that simulates natural behaviour and maybe thereby improves the quality of life of the recipient ? How often would they have to be serviced/maintenanced if they would be in daily use, could you estimate ?
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 21:04:07 UTC
I think this is probably impractical unless you were to create some kind of internal hydration system that would feed the limb water from the inside. And then you would need to refill the tank periodically - like a washer fluid tank.
FreshM1 karma2015-05-11 21:30:36 UTC
thank you for your answer.
if you combine the fluid pump with a heating system, artificial limbs could even be more realistic, simulating normal body temperature and so on. it sounds like a description from a science fiction novel, but who knows what could happen in the future.
syndaver1 karma2015-05-11 21:32:24 UTC
The heaters would be easy enough but there are also some really nice platinum cured silicones on the market that can be used in this application.
ColonParentheses3 karma2015-05-11 21:57:11 UTC
How do you cut through the tissue? Once you cut into it doesn't it cease to be reusable?
syndaver2 karma2015-05-11 23:50:33 UTC
The soft tissues can be cut by any surgical means including scalpel, or directed energy (laser, plasma, sound, rf, etc) devices. If you cut something in half you have to replace it but the SSH is designed that way on purpose.
Stopwatch_3 karma2015-05-11 23:38:43 UTC
What motivates you to be as principled as you are? If I went on there I would give a clear presentation of just how big the barrier to entry in your market is and how large the market could be in the US alone. I think you're obviously a very smart guy but I can't help but think you ended up giving more equity away than you needed to solely because you opted not to focus on the market opportunity in addition to the massive social benefits of the product.
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 23:58:44 UTC
The market potential is indeed massive. I can see it because I am in the trenches, and others can see it if they are involved in the industry.
Of course, everyone that pitches to anyone says their market is enormous and they are often right, but grabbing the market is no small task.
Stopwatch_2 karma2015-05-12 00:12:34 UTC
Very true about grabbing the market, but it sounds like you have a strong value proposition and a strong team. Best of luck!
syndaver3 karma2015-05-12 00:13:41 UTC
Thank you very much :)
Agent_Bakery3 karma2015-05-12 00:43:25 UTC
How has having your product on Mythbusters affected your growth and reputation? Do you feel that having in a mainstream cable show help boost revenues?
Side note: I love your product and it makes me proud to be a USF student seeing such innovating products coming out of this city.
syndaver4 karma2015-05-12 01:48:14 UTC
Myth Busters was a big deal for us because I don't think anyone knew we existed before then. We emailed the guys at M5 with a link to our website and had an email waiting from Jamie the next day. It was pretty exciting.
Regarding USF it has grown quite a bit, and I would say that you don't need to go to Stanford or MIT to get a good education. You get out of it what you put in regardless of where you are.
phillq233 karma2015-05-11 18:44:49 UTC
Excuse my ignorance, but why do some of the SynDavers have the ability to open/close eyes and able to move the arms via a remote? I can't really think of a reason why this would be beneficial.
syndaver10 karma2015-05-11 18:49:54 UTC
The standard units are designed for anatomy education and surgical education but the units with electromechanical components are designed for procedural training ie patient dies if you administer this drug, pupil response ceases due to brain injury etc.
thatguywhoissmart2 karma2015-05-12 02:20:34 UTC
I already messaged your website about this immediately after I watched the shark tank episode, but is there any chance of any internship opportunities? I love STEM and am very interested in what you do.
syndaver3 karma2015-05-12 02:23:18 UTC
Unfortunately we do not currently accept interns but this may change at some point. We will have a careers section live soon - keep an eye out for that.
SAWK2 karma2015-05-11 20:52:59 UTC
What type of maintenance is needed and what is the "life span" of the SynDaver? You mentioned they are water based, do they dry out? Do you have to store them in a controlled environment?
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 21:02:47 UTC
Yes they will definitely dry out if not cared for but will last forever if you take care of them. I still have parts I made in grad school more than 20 years ago.
For the most part care consists of keeping the parts clean and hydrated, and for infinite lifespan keeping them clear of ionizing radiation.
SAWK3 karma2015-05-11 22:17:50 UTC
Thanks for answering. I see you've been at this AMA for at least six hours. What do you think of reddit and the questions that have been asked?
BTW, just a little reddit AMA information. And some may be pissed that I'm mentioning this, but you can edit your original post and call it quits whenever you want. Just say thank you, I'm done answering questions, I need to go to the bed, I need to eat, whatever. Thanks again, very interesting AMA for sure. One of my favorites.
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 23:45:33 UTC
Its pretty cool. I enjoy the interaction and it is my job to educate the public about our offerings. Also, I have been coming back and forth to it while doing other things so its not a big deal.
thalos3D2 karma2015-05-11 18:49:56 UTC
Could you give us a sense of what roll your pitch plays in the investment decision? Are the sharks leaning one way or another before you even get on stage, or does it really just come down to that 1 or 2 hours?
syndaver2 karma2015-05-11 18:52:30 UTC
As far as I know they are completely in the dark until the presenter comes out to make the pitch. Their decision is based entirely on what they see and hear in the pitch.
Wolfbarb2 karma2015-05-11 20:21:35 UTC
How did you discover Kevin is an android?
syndaver18 karma2015-05-11 21:14:40 UTC
I gave him a prostate exam and found a SynDaver logo.
FLOSS4Humanity2 karma2015-05-11 19:51:55 UTC
exluding the years of research you've done, what is the biggest technical challenge you've faced?
Do you hire software engineers?
syndaver5 karma2015-05-11 19:53:54 UTC
We are bumping up against limits in modulating a large number of physical properties simultaneously. It is difficult enough to create a mimic for 3-4 mechanical properties, but when you add in a requirement to mimic dielectric, thermal, optical, and radiological properties the job becomes much more difficult.
G0T02 karma2015-05-11 20:10:24 UTC
Why did you decide to go on Shark Tank to find investment instead of other avenues? Or had you already?
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 21:22:56 UTC
I turned over every stone I could find in the beginning but most people would not talk to me and those who would told me there was no market for my products.
I figured I would go back once I had proven the concept, which has involved operating on cash flow for the last 10 years.
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syndaver7 karma2015-05-11 15:47:04 UTC
Bonedigger19 karma2015-05-11 16:17:28 UTC
You replied to a bot. That's like shaking hands and introducing yourself to a SynDaver. :)
syndaver6 karma2015-05-11 18:50:07 UTC
Yackback1 karma2015-05-11 20:11:52 UTC
Twitter can't find that page, just saying.
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 21:19:45 UTC
Just fixed it.
MadDogWest2 karma2015-05-11 20:24:54 UTC
First, a question: To what degree are more intricate anatomical features (fascia, ligaments, lymphatics) replicated in your full SynDaver products?
The rest is not so much a question as a comment--I'm a first year medical student and I was fortunate enough to attend a skills workshop where I was able to practice performing a cricothyrotomy on your Adult Cric Trainer . I've worked with a few mannequins this past year and, while they're fun, the SynDaver product was one of the most exciting educational experiences I have had, second only to cadaver lab.
What a pleasant coincidence that I would just happen to stumble across the /r/videos thread about your appearance on Shark Tank only a month or so after I first used your product. Thanks for what you do, and best of luck with the future of your company.
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 21:12:56 UTC
Thank you Sir. I am glad you enjoyed your experience with our cric trainer.
The SSH does not yet have a lymphatic system as a standard feature but we have added this into some task trainers for special uses.
We have to balance the feature set against a need to keep the model at a certain price point, but we are also working on ways to increase complexity while reducing cost as well. Cost constrains limit our ability to add everything to the model we are capable of producing.
MarzipanStar2 karma2015-05-11 19:50:58 UTC
Have you thought about expanding into animal models for high school science labs? Here in Ontario, Canada we have grade 11 bio students who often skip out of the fetal pig dissection for ethical/religious reasons and I think this would be a great way to help them without compromising beliefs (and more hands-on than the computer program they use instead) and to be able to re-use the tissues again...
And nuts to that one shark, you had definite enthusiasm!
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 19:52:12 UTC
Heh thank you. Yes I would love to do actual animal models. We will eventually but have to go where the pool of customers is deepest first.
newJizzle2 karma2015-05-11 19:12:51 UTC
Wow great stuff man! I am currently a Junior majoring in Exercise Science. Hopefully furthering my education in a DPT degree and then moving on towards a Masters in Kinesiology or Exercise Physiology or both maybe...
Do you or your company have plans on doing anything for these fields or do you have anything that works with them now? Such as post tendon/ligament repair? For example, post ACL tear surgery, that would show how other ligaments in the knee would be affected without having to do a laproscopic on a living person. Or even shoulder impingement of the subscapularis and how other nerves and muscles are affected by such thing?
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 19:48:39 UTC
We have some programs looking at the anatomy SSH for use in PT, kinesiology, and sport science programs. New application for us but presents no real problems.
smoothtrip2 karma2015-05-11 18:46:51 UTC
How did you know the video was posted in /r/videos?
syndaver6 karma2015-05-11 18:53:29 UTC
Do you mean what is it that brought me to Reddit? One of my staff alerted me.
turkishgamer2 karma2015-05-12 00:25:16 UTC
Are you planning on answering all of the question on this AMA?
Sorry. Thats the best question I can come up with :)
syndaver4 karma2015-05-12 01:33:50 UTC
Sure why not. There might be some pauses while I am doing other things.
iheartbaconsalt2 karma2015-05-12 00:56:51 UTC
I saw lots of fleshy pink stuff, but can this stuff mimic muscle tissue really? I really want to see some external oblique and rectus abdominis muscle. How about the inguinal canal? Is that simulated somehow?
syndaver3 karma2015-05-12 01:44:38 UTC
The muscle used in the SSH platform is a good general mimic in terms of abrasion and penetration resistance, tensile modulus, thermal conductivity, and dielectric constant. The inguinal canal is definitely present but the model on the show was incomplete - the leg muscles up to and including the inguinal ligament are filled with an interstitial goo that would have made the model look unpresentable.
Corriveau421 karma2015-05-12 00:32:33 UTC
As a current MechE Student, it's quite inspiring to see that someone has gone from just an Engineering Degree, to Masters, PhD, and then on to create a promising business that actually matters. How on earth did you do all that? When and how did you find that Synthetic Cadavers was something you wanted to get into?
syndaver5 karma2015-05-12 01:49:46 UTC
Well to my mind that is what PhDs are supposed to do - make jobs. The trick is finding something you are interested in. If you have a good imagination the innovation will follow naturally.
Jamesx_1 karma2015-05-11 21:59:59 UTC
I just watched that episode of Shark Tank. You didn't seem too happy being there. Were you just super nervous or did the editors cut all of your smiles from what aired?
syndaver5 karma2015-05-11 23:46:29 UTC
Lol. That's just the way my face looks! Plus I was nervous. Had I smiled it probably would have looked frightening.
5starstunna1 karma2015-05-11 19:03:14 UTC
Were you nervous or do you normally sweat that much? Not trying to be rude just curious since you are so accomplished I wouldn't expect you to get nervous.
syndaver4 karma2015-05-11 19:06:55 UTC
Hehe. Both. I am naturally a private person so doing what I did was unnatural for me and it made me nervous. But, the lights are really hot and I am also naturally sweaty.
My wife, who is the most common victim of my sweatiness advised me to put antiperspirant on my face. I suppose I should have listened.
noslipcondition1 karma2015-05-11 19:13:10 UTC
Assuming I actually had the money, could I (just a regular guy off the street with no medical licenses or anything) buy one of your cadavers? How do they come shipped? Do I have to assemble them?
And have you ever thought about getting into the "sex doll" market?
syndaver3 karma2015-05-11 19:47:40 UTC
We had questions about that from the very beginning. I would be concerned about the liability involved in supplying the general public vs medical professionals but then again I don't ask people what they are doing with them when they buy them. They come fully assembled.
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