RE: [rp-ml] 3D Printing for Medical Research

From: Nicholas Rivers <>
Date: Tue Jul 12 2011 - 16:43:02 EEST

You may consider looking into what Materialise is doing with creating fixtures to better locate where a surgeon will cut or set pins, etc. They do this with one of their software packages. I was very impressed with this when I visited them this summer. It is already in practice with Doctors in Europe.

Nicholas Rivers

VTM Division
InTech Industries Inc.
7180 Sunwood Drive NW
Ramsey, MN 55303-5100
763-576-8100 Main
763-576-8101 Fax

From: Dr. Glass DPM []
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 10:12 PM
Subject: [rp-ml] 3D Printing for Medical Research

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

I've managed to get some test prints of this file, which look like: 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:
Pilon Tibial/Ankle fractures -
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<> 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 16:47:47 2011

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