3D printed models for kids’ operations

http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/01/boston-childrens-hospital-3d-printing/

Surgeons practice on 3D-printed models for kids’ operations

Surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital started using 3D-printed copies of patients’ affected body parts to prepare for procedures last year. Now, that move has helped save the lives of four children aged two months to 16 years old who suffered from life-threatening blood vessel malformation in their brains. Their condition gave ride to distinctive anatomies that one of the hospital’s neurosurgeon, Edward Smith, said were really tricky to operate on. So, the doctors used a combination of 3D printing and synthetic resins to conjure up copies of the kids’ deformed vessels, along with nearby normal counterparts and surrounding brain anatomy. That gave them the chance to practice extensively beforehand and reduce possible complications on the operating table.

Smith said the models allowed them to “view [the formations] from different angles, practice the operation with real instruments and get tactile feedback.” It was especially beneficial for three of the four patients, as they had arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) — their arteries and veins were all tangled up – that required the surgeons to cut blood vessels as quickly as possible, and in a certain sequence. Thanks to their preparations, the surgeons managed to fix the kids’ distorted blood vessels and cut surgery time by 30 minutes each. Smith and his colleague Darren Orbach now plan to use 3D printing to train younger doctors and for even trickier cases in the future.

engadget.com

by Mariella Moon | August 1st 2015 At 3:33am

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3D printed prosthetic jaw!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-20/melbourne-man-receives-titanium-3d-printed-prosthetic-jaw/6536788

3D printed titanium prosthetic jaw joint bone

Titanium, 3D printed prosthetic jaw implanted in Melbourne man in Australian first surgery

Surgeons have successfully implanted a titanium 3D-printed prosthetic jaw in a Melbourne man in an Australian-first operation.

It is hoped the success of the locally designed and tested part will lead to high-tech export opportunities.

The patient, 32-year-old psychologist Richard Stratton, was missing part of his jawbone including the left condyle, the joint to the skull.

He believed part of his jaw never grew properly after he received a bad knock to the jaw during childhood.

In the past few years, he has suffered increasing pain while chewing or moving his jaw and he has not been able to fully open his mouth.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr George Dimitroulis designed a prototype prosthesis that was refined and tested by experts at Melbourne University’s mechanical engineering department.

Dr Dimitroulis said that while there had been a handful of 3D-printed jaw operations worldwide, he was not aware of any that incorporated a titanium part and a 3D-printed plastic jaw joint.

“In terms of joint replacement specifically, what we call the TMJ – the temporomandibular joint – we suspect that this may be the first 3D-printed jaw joint in the world,” he said.

It was designed to protect the skull from a rubbing metal joint which would wear and erode into the cranial cavity.

“The beauty of this particular joint itself is that it was designed in Australia and manufactured [by an Australian firm] … and not just manufactured in the common sense, but 3D printed,” he said.

“It really makes the fit truly patient-fitted, truly customised, as opposed to ‘we’re close enough’ and it’s something that I think will become the norm in the future as technology [becomes] cheaper.”

Dr Dimitroulis said it was a great example of “smart Australia” and 3D printing would lead to “revolutionary” changes in jaw prosthesis surgery.

Richard Stratton before and after surgery

Sunrise of a whole new industry

Before the operation, Mr Stratton said he was excited to be “patient X on the Australian joint” and joked that he had put in an order for a “Brad Pitt” jaw.

He hoped many more patients would benefit from having their replacement joints 3D printed and personalised to them.

“It sounds a bit [like] science fiction … I don’t really understand 3D printing that much but it’s exciting,” he said.

“They have a 3D model of my skull and the fact that they’ve made the joint to fit that perfectly, I feel a lot safer in knowing that it’s not just a factory made, off-the-shelf joint.

“Hopefully all the time they’ve spent on their computers and designing my new jaw, hopefully that will make the short-term recovery better for me and also the longer-term outcome is that it will last a lot longer and hopefully work a lot more efficiently.”

Port Melbourne firm 3D Medical used powdered titanium that was heated and fused one layer at a time to print the prosthesis.

Technicians also used CT scan images to print a 3D plastic model of Mr Stratton’s skull and then refined the titanium part to provide a perfect fit.

While this part was manufactured in New Zealand, future parts will be locally produced.

Company chairman Dr Nigel Finch said about 30 versions of the part had to be printed during the customisation process but he predicted that any future adaptation would take much less time.

“It really is the sunrise of a whole new industry,” he said.

“I think that greater support, better understanding by the regulators and better understanding by hospitals and the healthcare system, will see the adoption of 3D medical implants and other technologies starting to become mainstream.

“Most of the implants that patients receive now are generic sizing, and of course nobody really is small, medium or large.”

New 3D printed titanium jaw part for Richard Stratton attached to a 3D printed version of his skull.

On-demand printing the way of the future

Dr Finch said the cost of the technology had come down to a “truly competitive” price point compared with conventional manufacturing of parts.

The use of highly-automated machines also eliminated much of the labour cost that had traditionally made Australian manufacturing uncompetitive.

“One of the things that’s really personally exciting for me is this whole idea about bringing a manufacturing base back to Australia and focusing around the digital aspect of it,” Dr Finch said.

“We currently have a model where the hospitals are carrying inventory of generic implants, and this is very costly on the hospital’s balance sheets, very costly on the healthcare system and I can see a future where we’re manufacturing parts on an as-required basis so we’re printing on demand.”

Melbourne University biomedical engineer, Dr David Ackland, said it was “quite unusual and unexpected” to be approached by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with a design prototype as computer simulations had mostly been performed on knee, shoulder and hip joints in the past.

“It’s very very important before you put an implant into the human body that you know that it’s going to be able to withstand the normal forces, the internal forces in the human body,” he said.

“We performed computer simulations [on the jaw prosthesis] to determine the joint loading and the loading on the implant and the screws, which of course the prosthesis would be subject to during biting and chewing.

“So we’ve done quite a comprehensive set of musculoskeletal modelling studies … to make sure that it doesn’t fail.”

Dr Ackland said 3D printing technology was still in its infancy so there were not a lot of customised components being developed or placed inside the human body.

“It’s incredibly exciting and there’s enormous potential for use of 3D printing technology to develop customised, patient-specific joint replacements and prosthetic components for a range of patients with different musculoskeletal disorders,” he said.

‘The excitement was unbearable’

Just after completing the five-hour operation, Dr Dimitroulis said he was “very proud” that three years of hard work had paid off.

“The excitement was unbearable I think, just at the last minute we thought it just wasn’t going to fit in but it just slid in nicely,” he said.

Dr Dimitroulis said patients with severe osteoarthritis of the jaw would benefit from the new implant and two patients had already signed on to receive one.

Mr Stratton said he found the pain and swelling confronting in the first few days after surgery but one month later and he was already able to open his mouth wider than before the surgery.

“The physiotherapist is really impressed and she works with these joints every day, and she says the range of movement … is a lot more than other patients that she’s worked with,” he said.

As for the “Brad Pitt” look, Mr Stratton has been clearly amused by his new chiselled jawline.

“People have have been really politely saying that it’s a huge improvement,” he laughed.

“I didn’t notice that I didn’t have a chin before, but people are now saying, ‘Wow, you’ve got such a great chin!'”

X-ray front shot

abc.net.au

by Stephanie Ferrier | 22 Jun 2015, 4:45am

Separated of twins, joined at the butt thanks to 3D printing technology

http://3dprint.com/71548/conjoined-twins-butt-3d-print/

twins2

Twins, Joined at the Butt, Will be Separated Tomorrow Thanks to 3D Printing Technology

3D printing has been used to change the lives of many people over the past several years. Whether it is for lending a hand in the rapid prototyping of products, creating prosthetic hands for children with upper arm differences, or allowing surgeons to perform high risk surgeries with much more ease than ever before, the technology is certainly providing ample benefit to society.

Back in February, we reported on a complex surgery that was undertaken in Texas to separate conjoined twins. To complete the surgery, a detailed medical model was created to aid surgeons in the delicate operation. Now doctors in China are doing the same.

twins3

Tomorrow (June 9), will be a huge day for one family in China, as their beautiful newborn conjoined twin girls will be separated from each other for the first time in their lives. Born on March 17 in Nanjing County of South Fujian, China, the twins were found to be conjoined at the buttocks area. In fact, they share part of the same digestive tract and portions of their anus. Like most surgeries which involve the separation of conjoined twins, it is an extremely risky and difficult operation.

The girls have been transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, where the surgery will take place tomorrow. Surgeons opted to wait until the girls were 3 months old and weighed approximately 10kg in order to perform the risky surgery. In studies, this has been shown to be the best time to perform such an invasive procedure, as babies tend to be strong enough at this point, and their bodies are ready to heal on their own.

These twins are in good hands though, as in the past 15 years, the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University has successfully separated 7 sets of conjoined twins. On top of this, using CT scan data, the surgeons were able to create an accurate 3D printed replica of the twins which doctors were able to simulate surgery on. They have used this 3D printed model to perform a mock operation, and in the process were able to revise their “real” surgical plan to make it more efficient and safe. While it is the very first time that 3D printing was used in order to aid in the separation of twins at this hospital, the hospital has used 3D printing in the past for other surgeries.

The surgery will include the separation of the twins, as well as reconstruction of their perineums and the rectums.  Currently the twins share a little less than 1cm of the same anus. It will certainly be a difficult surgery, but with the help of 3D printing, the surgical team feels very confident.

As far as the cost of the surgery, it is very expensive, but the family got a helping hand from the “Angel Mother” charity, in the amount of 200,000 yuan (approximately $32,231).

twins1

Best of luck to these beautiful twin girls as they undergo quite an extensive surgery tomorrow. What do you think about the use of 3D printing in creating medical models for complicated surgeries like this? Discuss in the Conjoined Twins forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 8, 2015

3D printing skin!

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32795169

Skin

L’Oreal to start 3D printing skin

French cosmetics firm L’Oreal is teaming up with bio-engineering start-up Organovo to 3D-print human skin.

It said the printed skin would be used in product tests.

Organovo has already made headlines with claims that it can 3D-print a human liver but this is its first tie-up with the cosmetics industry.

Experts said the science might be legitimate but questioned why a beauty firm would want to print skin.

L’Oreal currently grows skin samples from tissues donated by plastic surgery patients. It produces more than 100,000, 0.5 sq cm skin samples per year and grows nine varieties across all ages and ethnicities.

Its statement explaining the advantage of printing skin, offered little detail: “Our partnership will not only bring about new advanced in vitro methods for evaluating product safety and performance, but the potential for where this new field of technology and research can take us is boundless.”

A scientist with skin cells

It also gave no timeframe for when printed samples would be available, saying it was in “early stage research”.

Experts were divided about the plans.

“I think the science behind it – using 3D printing methods with human cells – sounds plausible,” said Adam Friedmann, a consultant dermatologist at the Harley Street dermatology clinic.

“I can understand why you would do it for severe burns or trauma but I have no idea what the cosmetic industry will do with it,” he added.

3D-printed livers

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine has pioneered the field of laboratory-grown and printed organs.

It prints human cells in hydrogel-based scaffolds. The lab-engineered organs are placed on a 2in (5cm) chip and linked together with a blood substitute which keeps the cells alive.

Organovo uses a slightly different method, which allows for the direct assembly of 3D tissues without the need for a scaffold.

It is one of the first companies to offer commercially available 3D-printed human organs.

Last year, it announced that its 3D-printed liver tissue was commercially available, although some experts were cautious about what it had achieved.

“It was unclear how liver-like the liver structures were,” said Alan Faulkner-Jones, a bioengineering research scientist at Heriot Watt university.

Printing skin could be a different proposition, he thinks.

“Skin is quite easy to print because it is a layered structure,” he told the BBC.

“The advantages for the cosmetics industry would be that it doesn’t have to test products on animals and will get a better response from human skin.”

But printed skin has more value in a medical scenario, he thinks.

“It would be a great thing to have stores of spare skins for burn victims.”

References:

bbc.com

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32795169

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 printed organs for TV series Grey’s Anatomy!

A 3D Printed Heart and Liver Were Recently Featured on the Popular TV Series Grey’s Anatomy!

http://goo.gl/5AeOBh

Greys Anatomy 3d printer

Gray’s Anatomy, the textbook of human anatomy originally written by Henry Gray and illustrated by Henry Vandyke Carter, was widely regarded as the seminal work on the subject and it’s still revised and republished today.

Since its publication in 1858, it has served as a crucial guide to doctors and surgeons in their daily work, but it’s a safe bet that Gray and Carter didn’t see it coming that their work would one day influence hospital dramas like ABC’s hit “Grey’s Anatomy,” and less likely still that they’d foresee that show discovering 3D printing.

Now that 3D printing technology has reached into the operating theater,  the American consciousness, and even into living rooms in the heartland, Gray and Carter would surely be proud.

The doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial were featured using 3D printing in one episode from season 10 where Dr. Yang 3D prints a “portal vein,” and Dr. Grey attempts to 3D print a heart. In fact, at the end of that episode, Dr. Yang discovers that, on her trip to Switzerland, 3D printing is widely used by medical professionals there.

greyspart2

One Dr. Burke goes as far as to say Dr. Yang’s dream is to build fully-functional, 3D printed hearts.

And the series is at it again with an appearance from a CubeX 3D printer which the Grey’s staff used to build a customized heart and liver model. The model of a patient’s heart and liver used on the show was designed and 3D printed by 3D Systems in conjunction with their entertainment division, Gentle Giant Studios, and it was printed by their medical solutions division,Medical Modeling.

Medical Modeling was built on the idea that medical imaging studies could be used for diagnosis and to drive clinical treatment, and they’ve developed surgical planning and clinical transfer tools. To date, the company has worked with surgeons around the world on tens of thousands of cases. They were also acquired by 3DS in April 2014, becoming part of the larger 3D printing revolution.

At this stage, engineering-based solutions for reconstructive surgical problemsare a part of the standard medical tool kit, and customized prosthetics are common.

greys-anatomy

Medical Modeling says 3D printing is used in hospitals around the world for applications ranging from surgical pre-visualization to treatment planning and training.

To make the heart model, the team used a ProJet 660Pro, taking the idea from a photo of a simple sketch on a napkin to a fully-printed model in just four days.

3DS says the anatomically correct, full-color model needed to fit the script, appear life-like, and be fully 3D printable. The creation process took place through a number of design iterations during which the “Grey’s Anatomy” production team reviewed the models and provided feedback, and the Medical Modeling team used Geomagic Freeform software to create the finished product.

Now that prime-time television has embraced the medical uses of 3D printing, how long do you think it will be before patients are asking to see models to help them understand their treatment options? Let us know in the Grey’s Anatomy Medical 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | FEBRUARY 9, 2015

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 | 

Surgeries made possible by 3D printing!

A Summary of 7 Mind-Blowing Surgeries Made Possible by 3D Printing – Including Spinal Fusion Surgery and Titanium Heel Implants.

http://goo.gl/BrbhcE

3D printing technology has enabled some truly life-changing surgeries in the past year

Though printing items like chocolate and pizza might be satisfying enough for some, 3D printing still holds a lot of unfulfilled potential. Talk abounds of disrupting manufacturing, changing the face of construction and even building metal components in space. While it is hard not to get a little bit excited by these potentially world-changing advances, there is one domain where 3D printing is already having a real-life impact. Its capacity to produce customized implants and medical devices tailored specifically to a patient’s anatomy has seen it open up all kinds of possibilities in the field of medicine, with the year 2014 having turned up one world-first surgery after another. Let’s cast our eye over some of the significant, life-changing procedures to emerge in the past year made possible by 3D printing technology.

Replacing the upper jaw

Earlier this year, the removal of an Indian man’s upper jaw due to cancer saw parts of both his nose and mouth left exposed. Things got worse for the 41-year-old after six weeks of radiotherapy, throughout which he developed radiation-induced fibrosis and lockjaw, severely impacting his ability to open his mouth.

Specialists used a CT scan to create a 3D reconstruction of the man’s face. Areplica of his mouth was then 3D-printed and used as a template to produce a wax model, which was then hardened and fitted with teeth. With the prosthesis adjusted to fit snugly in place, the man’s chewing, swallowing, speaking and other mouth movements are said to be considerably improved.

Forming a new skull

When a 22-year-old woman was suffering from a condition that caused her skull to thicken, specialists at the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht were of the opinion that a partial implant would be necessary. These had been used before when sections of the skull were removed to relieve pressure on the brain, but the cement versions were not always a good fit.

The doctors worked with an Australian implant company to create a 3D model of the patient’s skull and printed an implant that would be an exact fit. While the increasing brain pressure threatened to impair the patient’s coordination and other brain functions, the 3D printed implant led her to a full recovery.

Spinal fusion surgery

Spinal fusion surgery is a complex procedure used to treat patients with conditions like disc degeneration and spinal instability. An important tool in this process is the spine cage, a medical device that serves as a replacement for damaged discs. By 3D printing a spine cage that had been tailored to the patient’s anatomy, a team of French surgeons was able to implant the device in a woman back in May with great results.

“The intersomatic cage, specifically printed by Medicrea for my patient, positioned itself automatically in the natural space between the vertebrae and molded ideally with the spine by joining intimately with the end plates, despite their relative asymmetry and irregularity,” said Dr. Vincent Fiere, the surgeon who performed the procedure at Hospital Jean Mermoz in Lyon, France.

Replacing cancerous vertebra

It wasn’t until a month after innocuously heading a soccer ball during a match that the entire body of a 12-year-old Chinese boy went numb. Spinal experts found that he had developed a malignant tumor on the second vertebra in his neck. In a five hour procedure conducted in August, surgeons removed the cancerous vertebra and replaced it with a 3D-printed implant.

The artificial vertebra was secured in place by titanium screws and the specialists said it was an improvement on existing methods. Typically, the patient’s head would need to supported by pins and cannot touch the bed while they are resting for around three months afterwards. But through 3D printing, the doctors could replicate the shape of the original vertebra, making it much stronger. Following the surgery, the patient was said to be in good physical condition and recovering as expected.

A titanium heel implant

Len Chandler, a 71-year-old man from Melbourne, Australia was faced with amputation below the knee after doctors diagnosed him with cancer in the heel bone. In exhausting all options, the surgeons had also been working with experts from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), exploring the possibility of producing a 3D-printed implant to save the patient’s lower leg.

Using schematics of the heel bone, a titanium implant was printed and inserted into Chandler’s foot in July. Three months later, he was said to be recovering well and able to place some weight on his heel again.

A 3D printed hip implant

The doctors of a 15-year-old Swedish girl suffering from a congenital disease resulting in skeletal deformations in the left hip were uncertain if she would walk again. But they then approached an implant manufacturing company called Mobelife to see what options might be available.

Mobelife used a tomography scan to create a detailed picture of the patient’s unique bone anatomy, ultimately printing an implant that would be secured with screws to the bone surrounding the defect. The operation was performed in September 2012 and eighteen months later she was walking entirely unaided.

Planning for complex heart surgery

When surgeons were approached by the parents of a 14-month-old boy born with four heart defects at Kosair Children’s Hospital in the US, they knew they had a task on their hands. But in planning for this surgery, they would be afforded the help of invaluable new-age medical tool.

Using CT scans of the baby’s heart, researchers at the University of Louisville were able to print a 3D model of the organ, measuring 1.5 times its actual size. This process took around 20 hours and cost US$600, but gave the doctors unprecedented opportunity to plan prior to a heart surgery, seeing them repair the heart’s defects in a single operation. Following his release from hospital, the boy was said to be in good health.

These are no doubt just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the benefits 3D printing will bring to the field of medicine in the coming years, so it will be interesting to see how the technology develops.

GIZMAG.COM
by  | December 11, 2014

3D printed hearts

3D Printed models may help lower surgeries in children related to congenital heart disease, according to the Association of Cardiovascular Imaging’s EuroEcho-Imaging 2014 conference 🙂

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286489.php

illustration of a heart

Heart surgeries in children with congenital heart disease could be reduced if 3D-printed models of patients’ hearts could be used to plan their treatment in advance, according to a presentation at the the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging’s EuroEcho-Imaging 2014 conference.

“3D imaging is a main theme of EuroEcho-Imaging this year and 3D printing of the heart is particularly exciting,” said president of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging, Prof. Patrizio Lancellotti. “It allows us to make a perfect model of a patient’s anatomy and decide the optimal device and procedure in advance.”

It is possible to create replicas of people’s hearts using computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The scans are then printed using flexible materials.

Dr. Peter Verschueren, who spoke on the topic at EuroEcho-Imaging 2014, said:

“Until recently, doctors would look at an image and then try to visualize the heart in 3D. Now they can use a 3D copy of an individual patient’s heart to plan the procedure in detail before they go into the operating theater.”

As well as congenital heart diseases, such as double outlet right ventricle or Tetralogy of Fallot, Dr. Verschueren says the 3D-printed hearts could be used to plan interventions for “complex bicuspid aortic valve cases that doctors want to treat with transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and new transcatheter interventions for repairing or replacing the mitral and tricuspid valves.”

Also at EuroEcho-Imaging 2014, biomedical research engineer Helen O’Grady presented a 3D-printed model of tricuspid regurgitation, which was used as a training aid. To create the model, CT scans of tricuspid regurgitation patients were used to build a 3D software model, which formed the blueprint for the 3D-printed heart.

O’Grady also molded a more flexible model to replicate the anatomical properties of the heart in the body as well as the motion of the valve.

“There is a variation in normal anatomies and more so in diseased anatomies such as tricuspid regurgitation,” O’Grady told the attendees. She continued:

“Being able to practice on the model allows for better surgical planning and doctors can optimize the interventional procedure pre-operatively. Cardiologists, surgeons and physicians say there’s nothing like having a tangible model in your hands as it gives such invaluable insight into the patient anatomy involved.”

Another benefit of 3D models, she added, is that they can be used to discuss the intervention not only with the medical team, but with patients and parents of children with congenital heart defects.

“It helps everyone affected to better understand what the procedure will involve,” she said.

3D printing to plan face transplants

In other 3D printing news, a study presented this month at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America also made the case for CT-based 3D printing as a tool for planning face transplantation surgery.

To do this, surgeons made 3D-printed models of the patients’ heads, which allowed them to physically hold and study a life-size model of the skull they would be operating on.

“If there are absent or missing bony structures needed for reconstruction, we can make modifications based on the 3D-printed model prior to the actual transplantation, instead of taking the time to do alterations during ischemia time,” said Dr. Frank J. Rybicki, radiologist and director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. “The 3D model is important for making the transplant cosmetically appealing.”

MEDICALNEWSTODAY.COM
by David McNamee |  5 December 2014 at 8am PST

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