Conjoined twins

From: Eitan Priluck (
Date: Fri Aug 30 2002 - 00:33:02 EEST

For Immediate Release



Eitan Priluck

Biomedical Modeling Inc.

167 Corey Road Suite 108

Boston, MA 02135




3D "Biomodels" from Biomedical Modeling Inc. used by UCLA Surgical Team in Separating Conjoined Twins


Boston, MA- August 15th, 2002-- When doctors at UCLA were planning the difficult operation to separate one-year-old conjoined twin Guatemalan girls, they turned to Biomedical Modeling Inc. for help.


"We were called about four weeks ago when they were first doing the skin-expansion part of the procedure," says Eitan Priluck, BMI's Chief Technology Officer. "One of the surgeons had previously used our biomodels at a different hospital, and alerted the team to their value – Biomodels are a fairly new technology so many surgeons aren’t yet aware of them."


Founded in 1997, the company takes information from MRI and CT scans to create accurate life-size plastic models which allow surgeons to "see" inside the area they're going to operate on- something that can't be done with a computer simulation.


"This is an actual physical, plastic object," says Priluck. "Surgeons can put their hands on it, see if

their scalpels will fit in, and actually rehearse a surgery on the model, prior to going into the OR."


Priluck says that the unusual nature of the surgery presented some special challenges for the company.


"Usually surgeons are just interested having a solid model of hard tissues such as bones and teeth," he explains, "but in this case they also needed the blood vessels which, are soft tissue. The skull and blood vessels had to be together in one model, which posed an additional challenge, and we used some new types of technology to do that."


The fabrication of the models is on the cutting edge of rapid prototyping technology as well.


"The models are actually grown out of a liquid plastic, so there isn’t any cutting or drilling," Priluck says. "It’s a polymer that starts as a liquid, and when it’s exposed properly to lasers and ultraviolet light, it can be solidified."


In addition to the front-page success of the biomodels in the conjoined twins' surgery, Priluck says that the company routinely gets positive feedback from surgeons who say the biomodels help them do both faster and better work.


"We’ve had doctors reporting that we’ve saved them as much as 20 to 30 percent of their operating room time," he says. "The models have also allowed them to perform multiple surgeries that they wouldn’t have otherwise felt comfortable doing."

-Eitan Priluck


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