7. 3D printing helps create training organs that bleed
University of Rochester Medical Center physicians have created organs that bleed with the assistance of 3D printing to help surgeons practice for certain procedures.
The process converts images from medical scans into computer-generated designs that 3D printers can read and create like-like organs that are able to be poked, prodded and dissected.
“Very few surgical simulations are successful at recreating the live event from the beginning to the end,” said Ahmed Ghazi, an assistant professor in the department of urology, in a press release. “What we have created is a model that looks, feels, and reacts like a live organ and allows trainees and surgeons to replicate the same experience they would face in the operating room with a real patient.”
Using MRI and CT scan images, organs molds were created with a 3D printer and injected with hydrogel. When frozen, the hydrogel becomes a solid. The consistency of hydrogels is similar to the consistency of organs in the human body.
To simulate different situations in the body, the physicians can add masses to liver or kidney models to replicate what it would be like if there was a tumor. Additionally, they can modify the 3D printer to create harder models that replicate bones to practice procedures involving the spine and other bones.