Injured toucan

http://www.cnet.com/news/injured-toucan-gets-new-beak-courtesy-of-3d-printing/

Injured toucan gets beak repair courtesy of 3D printing

A custom prosthetic beak-piece helps a toucan rescued from animal smugglers eat and groom normally once again.

3D printing isn’t just for people to make tchotchkes, buildings and Kraken dice. There’s a whole realm of the 3D-printing world involved with helping out animals who need a leg (Derby the dog), face (Akut-3 the turtle) or foot (Ozzie the goose). We can now welcome Tieta the toucan to their ranks.

Tieta was rescued in Brazil from an illegal animal seller. Half of her upper beak was missing. If you’ve ever seen a toucan, you know how magnificent their beaks are. Those bills are also practical in the wild, helping the birds reach for food and regulate their body temperature.

Tieta got a 3D-printed plastic prosthesis in late July to repair her bill. The process of creating the prosthesis was intensive. Designers used a taxidermy toucan as a model and several prototypes were printed. The lightweight final design received a coat of nontoxic varnish and a castor-oil-based polymer for durability. Collaborators on the project included wildlife preservation group Instituto Vida Livre and the Federal University of Rio de Janiero.

It took Tieta three days to adjust to the repaired appendage, but she is now able to eat normally. “We were feeding her fruit and she was ignoring the new beak. But when we gave her live animals, like maggots and cockroaches, she ate normally immediately,” Instituto Vida Livre director Roched Seba told BBC News.

It’s not known how Tieta lost part of her bill. It could have been an accident in the wild or through mistreatment by wildlife smugglers. The bird will spend the rest of her life in the safety of an animal sanctuary.

cnet.com

by | August 25, 20153:32 PM PDT

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3D printing – still quite a young space

http://bgr.com/2015/08/25/3d-printer-multimaterial-3d-printing-breakthrough/

3D Printer

Major technological advancement yields a printer that could change the face of 3D printing

While the technology has certainly generated plenty of buzz over the past few years, 3D printing is still quite a young space. Advancements in 3D printing are coming hot and heavy — just think about how affordable this technology is now, for example. Nearly anyone with a need for a 3D printer can now purchase one for just a few hundred dollars.

But affordability is hardly the only area where huge advancements are being made in 3D printing.

A group of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a prototype of what may quite literally end up being a game changer for 3D printing.

“Multimaterial printing” is the term for a process whereby a 3D printer creates objects out of more than one material at a time. The most common use case involves colors — a printer might build 3D objects in two or three different colors at once, rather than forcing the user to create different colored piece separately and then assemble them.

Now, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have created a 3D printer with multimaterial support that can print with 10 different materials at once. Most interesting, perhaps, is the fact that the printer supports not just different colors, but also different plastics and metals.

So, with this new printer, users may be able to print fully assembled objects made of several different materials. But wait… it gets even better.

The team from MIT has managed to build machine vision into its new printer. Using this technology, the 3D printer can correct printing errors on its own, with no input needed from its operators. It can also scan objects that already exist and 3D print directly onto them or around them. For example, it can print circuit boards directly onto an object.

Or, as an extremely basic example, imaging placing your smartphone in the device and having it 3D print a protective case around it.

More information on the project, which is being spearheaded by MIT engineers Pitchaya Sitthi-Amorn, Javier E. Ramos, Yuwang Wang, Joyce Kwan, Justin Lan, Wenshou Wang and Wojciech Matusik, can be found by following the link below in our source section.

bgr.com

by  |

New face for a girl thanks of 3D printing

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/3d-printing-helps-give-girl-a-new-face-1.3014957

Violet Pietrok, playing with her father Matt, was born two years ago with a Tessier cleft, a rare deformity in which the bones that form the face have not fused properly. Thanks to 3D printing of models of her skull, Violet has begun a series of surgeries to correct the problem.

3D printing helps give girl a new face

Doctors practise on an exact image of face before repairing deformity.

The great thing about medical school cadavers is that they can’t die.

If a surgeon in training makes a mistake, there’s always next time. It is the last environment where medical errors have no consequences.

But 3D printing is changing that, giving even experienced operating room teams valuable practice on a model that looks and feels like the real thing. It has life-saving and life-altering implications.

Violet Pietrok was born two years ago with a rare deformity called a Tessier cleft. The bones that normally join to form the fetal face had not fused properly.

  • Watch David Common’s full story on The National Sunday April 5 at 9 p.m.

As a result, Violet’s eyes were set so far apart, her vision was more like a bird’s than a human’s. She also had no cartilage in her nose.

But the corrective operation is extraordinarily complex. So Violet’s family turned to one of the world’s leading reconstructive surgeons, Dr. John Meara, at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Violet Pietrok

He warned them of the danger of making sophisticated cuts through the skull, very close to the optic nerve. “They might be very close to the brain,” Meara explained in an interview. “So the ability to make these cuts on the model first and see the trajectory of a sawblade or where that cut would come through in relationship to the eye is absolutely critical.”

To get that model, the simulation team at Boston Children’s took multiple MRIs of Violet’s skull and replicated it on a 3D printer.

It took more than a day to print, but the model is exact. Even the density of the bone is precise.

 “We were actually able to do the procedure before going into the operating room,” Meara said.

“So we made the cuts in the model, made the bony movements that we would be making in Violet’s case and we identified some issues that we modified prior to going into the operating room, which saves time and means that you’re not making some of these critical decisions in the operating room.”

During the surgery earlier this year, Meara kept a model of Violet’s skull close by and referred to it as he went through the complicated steps of the operation. This successful surgery was just the first of several that will be needed to remake Violet’s face.

Other hospitals are interested

Boston’s success has prompted a lot of calls from hospitals around the world looking to set up their own 3D printing simulations to Dr. PeterWeinstock, who runs the Boston program.

He equates medicine with sports teams. Any team worth its salt, he says, practises before the game.

“We looked at that and thought, why is health care not doing that?  If you can see the patient before you see the patient, if you can do the operation before you do the operation, you have the opportunity to tailor your approach, to tailor your team to the specific environment and event. Think about that opportunity.”

Weinstock’s printer now runs 24/7 preparing for procedures at Boston Children’s — well worth the $400,000 investment.

The models are game-changing — giving a whole new meaning to personalized medicine. With each new print, the models are getting more sophisticated. Soon, the replicated veins and arteries will bleed as they would in real-life.

Boston Children’s has also found better recovery times. Patients of surgeons who’ve practised on the models typically leave hospital sooner and get back on their feet more easily.

Weinstock’s simulation program really took off a few years ago with Surgical Sam, the world’s first operable infant mannequin.

A model of an individual

But Weinstock wanted not just a model of generic human but one of a specific person.

That’s also what Adam Stedman needed. Adam was born witharteriovenous malformation or AVM, a tangled mess of arteries and veins in the brain that restricts blood flow and prompts progressively worse seizures that can cause brain damage.

He could have had a stroke at any moment, or a hemorrhage, his mother Amy tearily explained. But surgically tackling the web of tubes inside Adam’s brain was also potentially deadly, or it could leave him blind.

The 3D printer re-created Adam’s brain — including the AVM — something his surgeon could hold, manipulate, examine, re-examine and ultimately, practice on.

The surgery was a success — taking only a third of the expected time because the entire operating room team had done it before just hours earlier on the practice model.

When Adam came out of the OR, he smiled and his mother broke down. “He just has a blind spot,” she said in an interview in her Connecticut home. To her, that’s a big improvement.

“I honestly think that the 3D printing has the majority to do with that, as far as where they knew, where to cut and where not to.”

cbc.ca

by David Common, CBC News | Apr 04, 2015 5:00 AM ET

3D printing helped with facial defect

3D Printing Has Another Positive Impact on a Child’s Life

http://goo.gl/3GZNgy

Check out this excellent story about a little girl named Violet born with a rare defect, a Tessier facial cleft, that left a fissure in her skull, and how 3D-printing is helping doctors take on these kinds of complicated surgeries. The piece is in today’s The New York Times and written by health reporter and CommonHealth contributor Karen Weintraub, who offers a little background:

Violet Pietrok was born nearly two years ago without a nose. Her eyes were set so far apart that her mom compared her vision to a bird of prey’s. There was a gap in the skull behind her forehead.

There was no question she would need drastic surgery to lead a normal life. But few surgeons have seen patients with problems as complex as Violet’s. Her parents, Alicia Taylor and Matt Pietrok, who live near Salem, Oregon, brought her to Boston Children’s Hospital, to Dr. John Meara, who had operated before on kids with Tessier facial clefts.

As part of Children’s Pediatric Simulator Program, Meara was able to get several 3D printed models made of Violet’s skull. By handling and slicing up the models, he got a better sense of what had gone wrong and how best to fix it.

Such 3D-printing is becoming more commonplace in complex surgeries, allowing doctors views and knowledge they can’t get on their screens.

From the Times story:

Such 3-D-printed models are transforming medical care, giving surgeons new perspectives and opportunities to practice, and patients and their families a deeper understanding of complex procedures. Hospitals are also printing training tools and personalized surgical equipment. Someday, doctors hope to print replacement body parts.

“There’s no doubt that 3-D printing is going to be disruptive medicine,” said Dr. Frank J. Rybicki, chief of medical imaging at the Ottawa Hospital and chairman and professor of radiology at the University of Ottawa. He is the former director of the applied imaging science lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a few blocks from Boston Children’s.

“It makes procedures shorter, it improves your accuracy,” said Dr. Rybicki, who has used 3-D printing in his work with face transplants. “When bioprinting actually hits, it will change everything.”

For now, the printer extrudes a layer of liquid plastic instead of ink. It adds a second layer, and then another, and a skull or rib cage — or whatever the surgeon dials up — slowly emerges.

The same process can also print layers of human cells. So far, researchers have also printed blood vessels, simple organs and bits of bone.

COMMONHEALTH.WBUR.ORG
by Rachel Zimmerman | 

DNA used to 3D printing?

A 30-year old PhD student has collected DNA ‘leftovers’ from fingernails, cigarette butts etc. and used them to create and 3D print the faces of the people who left their DNA behind.in public areas.

What’s your say on the ethics of DNA use, as well as the (un)ethical use of 3D printing?

http://www.theguardian.com/…/…/jun/01/dna-art-recreate-faces

A strand of DNA

A new ethical dilemma: is it wrong to use people’s DNA ‘leftovers’ to create works of art (or for any other purpose)?
Your DNA is as personal as you can get. It has information about you, your family and your future. Now, imagine it is used – without your consent – to create a mask of your face. Working with the DNA bits left behind by strangers, a Brooklyn artist makes us think about issues of privacy and genetic surveillance.Heather Dewey-Hagborg, a 30-year-old PhD student studying electronic arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the weird habit of gathering the DNA people leave behind, from cigarette butts and fingernails to used coffee cups and chewing gum. She goes to Genspace (New York City’s Community Biolab) to extract DNA from the detritus she collects and sequence specific genomic regions from her samples. The data are then fed into a computer program, which churns out a facial model of the person who left the hair, fingernail, cigarette or gum behind. Using a 3D printer, she creates life-sized masks – some of which are coming to a gallery wall near you.

Such a process might seem artistically cutting-edge to some. But, for most of us, the “yuck!” factor quickly kicks in. Among one of my horrifying nightmares is the fear to be accused of a crime I did not commit. Picture the scene: you were at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and circumstantial evidence builds against you. Like in any dream, you are trying to shout out loud that you are innocent, but no sound comes out. In my nightmare, the last chance to be saved always comes from DNA testing. After comparing my DNA to that found on the crime scene, I am finally freed. In many ways, DNA has been seen in a very positive light, but that is starting to change as more ethical questions arise.

For my generation, the one born with DNA-profiling that began in 1987 and raised on films like Gattaca, developments in human genetics have directly influenced self-perceptions and experiences. One positive example of this influence is the do-it-yourself biology movement. Genspace allows lab members to design workshops, train students and innovate with new technologies.

Whether you find what Heather Dewey-Hagborg does cool or creepy, DNA-profiling experiment raises a number of legal and ethical questions that no one knows how to handle. To what degree does the DNA we leave behind in public spaces belong to us? Does a facial mask without a name raise the same issues as a photo? In either case, what exactly is our expectation of privacy?

Just because an individual sheds DNA in a public space does not mean that the individual does not care about preserving the privacy of the data in the DNA. There was no informed consent given to access that data. On the other hand, some might say the major problem is not unauthorized access to data but misuse of data. It is easy to imagine a scenario where someone could inadvertently have their genome sequenced from a cigarette butt they left behind. If the person who tested the cigarette found a risk gene for a mental disorder and posted the results on Facebook, the information could affect the smoker’s social and professional life.

Of course, Dewey-Hagbord is not looking for degenerative diseases or mental disorders in the bits of DNA she picks up off New York’s sidewalks. But still, when the sequences come back from the lab, she compares them to those found in human genome databases. Based on this comparison, she determines the person’s ancestry, gender, eye color, propensity to be overweight and other traits related to facial morphology.

Beyond privacy, this search raises questions of the ability to identify someone from their DNA traces. To what extent do genetic traits (such as ancestry) tell you about how a person looks? Based on the analysis of these genetic traits, how accurate is the 3D facial model produced by the computer? At the request of a Delaware forensic practice, Dewey-Hagborg has been working on a sculpture from a DNA sample to identify the remains of an unidentified woman. This opens another black box at the connection between law enforcement and what we might call “DIY forensic science”: here, what is the role of the state versus that of the individual?

In the UK, the Human Tissue Act 2004 prohibits private individuals from covertly collecting biological samples (hair, fingernails, etcetera) for DNA analysis, but provides exclusion for medical and criminal investigations. The situation is more of a patchwork in the US. According to a 2012 report from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, only about half of the states have laws that prevent testing someone’s DNA without their knowledge. It is encouraging, at least, to see that many lawmakers at the state-level have begun to discuss the question of privacy and genome sequencing.

In the near future, the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, will be providing a forum for further policy questions on this issue. On 3 June 2013, Dewey-Hagborg has been invited to discuss her research and motivations in a talk about privacy and genetic surveillance. Another discussion will follow on 13 June 2013 at Genspace in Brooklyn. Perhaps with the help of these and other academics, artists and policymakers, we can begin reaching a consensus about what boundaries we want to set for ourselves, before we accidentally end up in a Gattaca of our own creation.

THEGUARDIAN.COM
by Eleonore Pauwels | Saturday 1 June 2013