Multicolored 3D-printed anatomical models allow for an easier differentiation between tissues compared to models printed in only one color. Here is an outline of how you can achieve multicolored 3D-printed anatomical models by just using transparent resin.
3D Printing has come a long way since the inception of the technology. It has gone from being used almost uniquely for prototypes in industrial environments, to enabling the creation of highly complex, customized medical devices that help physicians provide their patients with better treatment options and a higher level of care.
Medical 3D Printing is increasingly showing its value in today's healthcare through the contributions it brings. 3D technology used to reconstruct patients' anatomies based on medical images creates unforeseen possibilities that can pave the way towards better patient-specific solutions.
What is 3D Printing? How does it work, how does it apply to medicine? Which technologies are the most suitable for healthcare applications? How can it be integrated in a workflow? What's the investment cost?
In April 2017, a young patient with serious cardiac deformity was the happy recipient of a successful heart surgery. His case was very complex and the surgery entailed high risks. What makes this surgery even more special however, is that it was one of the first to be performed under the patronage of Little Hearts of China. This charity project brings in selected young patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) from the western region of China and offers them advanced medical care that would otherwise not be available locally.
In addition to its many other benefits, Medical 3D Printing has revolutionized how the pathology of a disease can be visualized. In a growing number of hospitals worldwide, it has earned its rightful place as standard procedure, for instance, in the placement of standard knee implants or in using cardiovascular models for preparing congenital heart defects surgery.
Cardiology has the distinction of being one of the earliest specializations in which patient-specific 3D anatomical models were implemented as part of treatment procedures. And although Medical 3D Printing has been used in the field for quite a few years already, much debate remains regarding which case should involve a 3D patient-specific model. It's a management decision that requires much thought and data. Until recently, literature on the use of 3D Printing in congenital heart disease (CHD) has been limited to anecdotal studies. This scientific publication has now given us more insight into the issue.
Physicians around the globe have one goal in common, which is to improve patient care. Materialise recently attended the first workshop on Surgical Morphology and Imaging of Congenital Heart Disease in Asia organized by the Cardiac Centre at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH). As an academic medical center and teaching hospital in Singapore, KKH is taking 3D Printing technology advancements in medicine to the next level by training specialists from the region – using actual 3D-printed heart models from patients.
At the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital of the University Medical Centre of Utrecht, a four-year old patient with a large heart tumor came to pediatric cardiologist Dr. Blank for help. Due to the tumor, the boy suffered from heart rhythm problems, and it was quickly apparent to Dr. Blank that the only way to relieve these problems was to remove the tumor. The problem was its location. Situated near the mitral valve and the coronary arteries, the tumor would be extremely challenging to remove without damaging those delicate areas. Dr. Blank reached out to Prof. Hraska, a cardiac surgeon from the Sankt-Augustin hospital in Germany with substantial experience in removing similar tumors.
From x-ray-based pre-operative planning and templating software to patient-specific solutions which employ 3D technologies, orthopaedic surgeons have access to an array of software and services to assist them when planning for successful surgical outcomes.
It is a sad day indeed when the happy tidings of a newborn baby are followed by the diagnosis of a serious congenital heart disease. Stephanie Starks had to face this situation 2,5 years ago after giving birth to her third daughter, Jemma. Although the disease was not recognized at first, little Jemma underwent two open-heart surgeries in the following 10 days and started treatment which she would need to continue for the rest of her life. Less than three years later, Jemma is now preparing for her fourth serious surgery.