Tag Archives: surgery
Paper-Based 3D Printing Used by Medical Team to Create Detailed Bone Structure Models
There are two issues with long surgeries: cost and risk to the patient. Surgery cost approximately $100 per minute, which means there is a business opportunity for shortening surgeries without reducing efficacy. Also, the longer a surgery lasts, the greater the health risks to the patient, especially in sensitive operations on the brain or other major organs.
In Belgium, 3D printing is offering doctors a chance to shave hours off in the operating room by creating an exact replica of a patient’s bone structure as a surgical guide.
“With each procedure, we easily win an hour in the operating room, and that’s a major benefit for the patient.” – Professor Raphael Olszewski, a surgeon and head of the university’s oral and maxillofacial surgery research lab at the Cliniques universitaires saint Luc, Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium.
These doctors are using paper 3D printing from Mcor Technologies, an approach that can 3D print in millions of colors and nearly any additive shape.
In a piece authored by Mcor’s Director of Marketing Julie Reece, this innovative medical technique is explained in more detail.
The surgeons employ paper 3D printing technology from Mcor Technologies to recoup hours from traditional surgical procedures. Working from the digitally scanned contours of patients’ bones, doctors push a button to create full-size 3D physical models they can use as surgical guides.
Since the model is a facsimile of the patient’s actual physiology, surgeons can use it to precisely shape metal inserts that fit along a patient’s residual bone. The insert might be a plate that supports a damaged mandible or a titanium mesh for reconstructing a damaged eye socket. Without 3D physical models to work from, surgeons would be forced to rely on time-consuming trial and error to shape the metal implants and risk potential tissue damage.
The Belgium-based medical team is not new to 3D printing, but did make a switch in 3D printers. They had previously employed a ZPrinter from ZCorp (acquired by 3D Systems) that uses resin and powder, and converted to the Mcor 3D printer that uses paper with water-based adhesive. One benefit to the doctors is that Mcor provides an eco-friendly and non-toxic solution. Moreover, the cost to 3D print a patient model is about half of what it costs on the ZPrinter.
Recent News about Mcor: Staples Launches 3D Printing Challenge for Mcor 3D Printers with €1000 Prize
In a groundbreaking first in the medical field, a team from the University of Hasselt has created a method for using 3D printing to fabricate a functioning lower jaw implant that rescued their patient from a massive infection.
“The introduction of printed implants can be compared to man’s first venture on the moon: a cautious, but firm step,” said Professor Jules Poukens of BIOMED.
The patient was an 83-year-old woman who was suffering from a major infection in her mandible. Traditional treatments, such as removing the lower jaw, would result in greatly decreased quality of life. Luckily, this medical team of doctors from the University of Hasselt, Belgium, partnered with engineers from Xios University College, SIRRIS, Xilloc Medical BV in Belgium, and the department of Cranio-, Maxillo-Facial surgery of Orbis Medical Center Sittard-Geleen in The Netherlands to develop an innovative treatment using 3D printing.
“Computer technology will cause a veritable revolution in the medical world. We just need to learn to work with it,” added Professor Jules Poukens. “Doctors and engineers together around the design computer and the operation table: that’s what we call being truly innovative.”
Pictured above and below, Dr. Ivo Lambrichts holds the 3D printed mandible. It was fabricated using a titanium powder in only a few hours. Typical methods to create implants usually take days.
Within 1 day after surgery, the patient had normal functioning speech, swallowing and movement.
Congratulations to this team for their major achievement!