Help to wounded soldiers

Welcome to the Future of Emergency Medical Care!

http://goo.gl/X86HWd

US Marines of the 1st Division line up for a joined prayer at their base outside Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 6 , 2004. Four years into the Iraq war, President Bush is staring down a Congress in revolt. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

The U.S. military is reportedly looking into an idea that’s always seemed a little more like something straight out of a science-fiction novel.

The military is reportedly in talks with the University of Nevada to develop 3-D printed “twins” of American soldiers. The concept would require troops’ bodies to be scanned and images stored. Those images, in turn, would assist doctors and surgeons in developing 3-D printed prosthetic body parts should the soldiers ever become wounded in battle, according to 3DPrint.com.

“The idea is to image someone when they are in a healthy state so that the data is available if it’s needed at a later point,” James Mah, a clinical professor at the University of Nevada said.

“We have soldiers who get injured. They lose limbs and other tissues and it’s a challenge to reconstruct them in the field. but if they are imaged beforehand, you can send that over the internet and have a 3D printer in the field to produce the bone,” Mah said.

A similar method is already used among some in the medical field. Medical students, for example, use virtual operating tables that allow them to dissect and operate without ever needed an actual human body in front of them.

Image source: 3Dprint.com

The tables are created in much the same way as what the military is reportedly looking to do for wounded veterans. With an X-ray, MRI or ultrasound, an exact replica of a human body can be engraved into the table, thus creating a virtual cadaver.

But this isn’t an entirely new innovation as doctors have been developing 3-D printed body parts for a few years now. In 2013, doctors were able to create a virtual windpipe for a baby born with a rare, life-threatening condition. Another example happened in 2012 when doctors used the technology to give a 2-year-old girl motion back in her arms.

TheBlaze reached out to a Pentagon spokesman asking for more information on existing plans, but no immediate response was received.

THEBLAZE.COM
by  | February 19, 2015 11:59pm
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Help for the people without limbs

How can 3D printing help those with paralyzed limbs?

On this page we’ve shown you many different forms of prosthesis created thanks to 3D printing that has changed the lives of many people with missing limbs.

Now take a look at a project which, using 3D printing, can help people with paralysis gain control over their affected limbs again 🙂

We have seen many extremely helpful 3D printed prosthetic hands and arms come to fruition over the past two years. Thanks to groups like e-NABLE and the Robohand Project, there are hundreds of people who now have gained use of both of their hands. The incredible thing about 3D printing is that it allows for the fabrication of completely custom devices, at costs of under $50. Traditional prosthesis cost up to 10,000 times this price, and many of these expensive devices don’t even function as well as their cheaper, home-fabricated counterparts.

3D printed prosthetic hands have been a life saver for individuals (mainly children) who have been born with missing hands, or partial hands. These devices allow them to gain use of an appendage that they never had the ability to use before.  With this said, what about those individuals who have their entire arms and hands intact, but for one reason or another don’t have the ability to move them?

There are many medical issues that can cause paralysis of a limb and/or appendage. They range from muscular dystrophy, to arthritis, strokes, nerve damage, and in this particular case a child who was forced to have a hemispherectomy (removal of half of their brain). Devices to help aid these people are not all that common, and if one were to get their hands on such a device, it could cost upwards of $50,000.

Elizabeth Jackson Models the Airy Arm (image source: Brain Recovery Project)

This is where one young lady, named Elizabeth Jackson comes to the rescue, thanks in part to 3D printing technology. Jackson, a member of e-NABLE, and a student of e-NABLE’s “leader”, Jon Schull at RIT(Rochester Institute of Technology), decided that something needed to be created for those without functioning arms/hands. Building on previous work by fellow e-NABLErs Ivan Owen (University of Washington Bothell) and Jean Peck (Creighton University, Omaha), Jackson came up with what she calls the “Airy Arm”.

“The Airy Arm is an exoskeletal device that assists individuals with intact but non functioning hands,” Elizabeth Jackson tells 3DPrint.com. “For example, the child that this was designed for had half of his brain removed which resulted in the paralysis of his wrist and hand. No electric components are used, and the hand is instead driven by the user’s own controlled movement of the elbow.”

The device works with cables that run over and under the fingers and then attach to the elbow. The hinge, located on the elbow, pulls on the cables under the finger and then forces the hand to close, as the elbow bends. When the elbow is straightened, the inside of the elbow pulls the strings located on the back of the fingers, thus opening the hand. This means that when the user reaches for an object, the strings pull the fingers open, and when the user pulls that object back toward his/her body, the fingers are forced to close. A double hinge on the elbow allows the user to have free movement without any interference or irritation of the skin. The underside of the fingers are strung with elastic, which enables the user to hold objects of different sizes, quite comfortably and confidently.

“The frame of the Airy Arm is 3D printed flat from a plastic called PLA (polylactic acid), and is then dipped in hot water and molded to the user’s hand and arm in order to form a comfortable fit that is flexible and lightweight,” Jackson told us. “Printing the pieces flat also decreases the print time and the amount of material used. This device would be useful in a variety of situations, including partial paralysis, stroke victims, and individuals with arthritis or muscular dystrophy.”

Recently at a large e-NABLE event, Jackson had the opportunity to show this device off to the innovators, medical personnel, and fellow e-NABLE members on hand. “People were very excited about the concept,” explained Jackson. “It is revolutionary, and can help so many more people than I ever anticipated. It has been getting very little media attention, as it is still a prototype, but somehow people still heard about it and were excited to actually see it in person.”

There is so much potential for devices like this. Just imagine how many people would love to have such an apparatus enabling them to once again gain use of both hands. Jackson will be working for the Brain Recovery Project, starting in January, in an attempt to create a final design for this device, and get it working for several patients who they work with. The Brain Recovery Project works with children who have experienced severe epilepsy, and were required to have half of their brain either removed or disabled. These children become paralyzed on the opposite side of the body that their brain was removed from, and devices like what Jackson has come up with can help them regain function once again.

airy2

If you are interested in donating to the Brain Recovery Project, you can do so on their website.

If all goes as planned, then perhaps one day soon, anyone will be able to print their own Airy Arm for personal use, or for use by family and friends.  This is why 3D printing is such a great tool.  It allows for open source designs that are able to be fabricated via downloadable files.

What do you think? Will this device provide as much of an aid to users as some of the 3D printed prosthetic hands we have seen? Discuss in the Airy Arm forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | OCTOBER 9, 2014

3D printed baby’s heart

Another medical marvel brought about by 3D printing! A two-week old infant’s life saved as a 3D printed replica of the baby’s heart was used to assist in complicated heart surgery! 🙂

http://www.independent.co.uk/…/3d-printed-heart-saves-babys…

Surgeons at a New York hospital have credited 3D printing with helping to save the life of a 2-week-old baby who required complicated heart surgery.

Surgeons at a New York hospital have credited 3D printing with helping to save the life of a 2-week-old baby who required complicated heart surgery.

Using MRI scan data, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City 3D printed a copy of the child’s heart, which was both riddled with holes and structured unusually.

Surgery was going to be complicated and dangerous, but this 3D printed heart provided the surgeons the opportunity to study the organ, and develop a detailed surgery strategy.

“The baby’s heart had holes, which are not uncommon with CHD, but the heart chambers were also in an unusual formation, rather like a maze,” Dr Emile Bacha, who performed the surgery,told Connecticut local media.

“In the past we had to stop the heart and look inside to decide what to do. With this technique, it was like we had a road map to guide us. We were able to repair the baby’s heart with one operation.”

The project was funded by Matthew’s Hearts of Hope, a Connecticut –based foundation.

They have said that another 3D printed heart is in the making, with details to follow in the next month.

Marie Hatcher, the foundation’s founder, told The Independent:“This is a game changer for CHD babies with complicated heart anatomy.

Normally the first time the surgeon sees the heart is when the chest is open, now they have the ability to plan out the surgery ahead of time while looking at a 3 D Heart of the baby or child’s heart.”

This is yet another example of 3D printing coming to the fore of cutting-edge medical technology. Just the other day, Kentucky surgeon Erle Austin also credited 3D printing with improving the odds of succeeding in the most difficult surgeries, reports Wired.

“I’m using 3D printing to help me understand a complicated heart,” he told Maker Faire in Rome.

Like the team at Morgan Stanley, Austin had used the technology to inform his approach to heart surgery on a young child at Kosair Children’s Hospital.

“If I went in and did surgery, took off the front of the heart and did irreparable damage, the child would not survive.”

Using an experimental version of the Makerbot Replicator 2, Austin printed a copy of the heart in three parts.

He said: “Because I have an identical reconstruction I can take off the front of the heart and see inside of it and make a plan as to how I’m going to direct the flow of blood and move the obstruction in the heart.”

INDEPENDENT.CO.UK

by ZACHARY DAVIES BOREN | 06 October 2014