[rp-ml] 3D Printing for Medical Research

From: Dr. Glass DPM <glass.dpm_at_gmail.com>
Date: Tue Jul 12 2011 - 06:11:32 EEST

Hello all,

My Name is Nicholas Giovinco, and I am a medical/surgical resident in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm currently working through the pilot phase of a research project, whereby I'm using Reprap technology to print physical models/templates of patient anatomy (after severe deformity or traumatic insult). These models are reconstructed from high resolution scans of patient's lower extremity and eventually become STL files, such as http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10661524/foot.stl

I've managed to get some test prints of this file, which look like: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10661524/Rgt_Side_Foot-bck.jpg This model is a patient with a Calcaneal fracture, as depicted.

As far as the gross anatomic shape, this is where the printed models will be used for preoperative planning. People with complex deformities like
Charcot Foot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G9ZZ0MfbkU
Pilon Tibial/Ankle fractures - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb2Hx6r3PAQ
Calcaneal fractures such as the foot model linked above

Surgical reconstruction of these feet is often challenging and can be unpredictable. My goal with this medical/surgical research is to make prints of the patients pathology, and be able to plan and prepare for the case by having a practice template. This idea is somewhat unexplored in the surgical realm, as it is often an expensive endeavor

In the year 2011, I feel that the increase in technology and the decrease in cost is right for this to become common practice, soon. So far my pilot looks a little something like this:
-Patient Pathology imaged with CT
-CT -> Print
-Print -> Surgeon for preoperative preparation/practice

The hypothesis is that surgical outcome will improve, as measurement of OR time, complications, and overall decrease in intra-operative stress. This will also reduce the cost of surgery, by not requiring expensive hardware or biologic supplements, because a more sound and cost efficient hardware construct will be applied. (plates, screws, frames, etc...)

I just wanted to introduce myself to this mailing list and send a shout out to the FreesideAtlanta.org Space for their help in making it this far. It's looking like a promising study, that would be a huge "here and now" demonstration of Reprap technology at work in the medical field.

Received on Tue Jul 12 06:15:36 2011

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