Stratasys announced that it has added biomechanically realistic bone capabilities to its J750 Digital Anatomy 3D printer.
Backed by clinical research, the software upgrade enables the systems to mimic porous bone structures, fibrotic tissue and ligaments so medical professionals can create models that behave just like human bone, according to the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company.
Stratasys launched the Digital Anatomy printer in 2019, with an initial focus on mimicking soft cardiology tissues, such as hearts and blood vessels. The new software enables the printing of intervertebral discs that are normal or degenerated and of joints between vertebrae in varying degrees of stiffness. The denser structure of skull bone is differentiated from general bones. Long bones can be printed with varying amounts of marrow. Different combinations of materials are produced at a 3D voxel level to ensure the right biomechanical properties, according to the company.
Researchers at the Computational Mechanics and Experimental Biomechanics Lab at Tel Aviv University conducted a clinical evaluation of the characteristics of bone models that were 3D-printed on the Digital Anatomy system, focusing on how accurately they replicated screw pull-out force and driving torque using cortical and cancellous screws. The 2020 study concluded that orthopedic screws pull-out force in the 3D-printed models had a similar haptic response to human cadaver bone, according to Stratasys.
“We believe that better preparation leads to better clinical outcomes,” said Stratasys VP Osnat Philipp in a news release. “The mechanical properties of bone are so fundamental to the ability of our skeletons to support movement, provide protection for our vital organs and ultimately affect our quality of life. Being able to 3D print models that are biomechanically accurate and unique to each patient is critical to that preparation.”