August 31

How 3D Printing Saves Lives With Patient Specific Solutions

3D printing is not just changing lives, it’s saving them by finding revolutionary, patient-specific applications in health care. Imaginarium Life leads the way to brighter, healthier future.

Diagnosis has always been the cornerstone of medicinal science. Doctors have come a long way from relying on simple machines such as stethoscopes to gauge what’s wrong with a patient, and what’s right. Advancements in medical technology have paved way for complex mechanism and procedures for medical diagnosis. More often than not, a doctor can take one simple look at an MRI scan of a cancer patient and immediately determine if a tumor is malignant or benign.

But despite all of our collective knowledge and expertise in medicine, there still exist cases and conditions where relying on two dimensional data to analyze and operate on three dimensional subjects does not suffice.

Recreating Human Anatomy With 3D Printing

Defects like CHD (Congenital Heart Diseases), complex tumors and reconstruction surgeries need additional information which current 3D imaging techniques lack, to analyse the best surgical approach. This is where additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, steps in.

It all starts with DICOM images obtained via current imaging techniques. These are further converted to virtual 3D models using medical software, maintaining the authenticity of the structure and its defects. They are then printed in solid matter, layer upon layer, to capture and understand the pathology in detail.

Imagine a doctor holding an exact replica of a patient’s heart. Not only will it be an aid in diagnosis, but can also be used to practice surgery by the doctor, before he deals with the actual thing in the operation theatre.

Imaginarium Life: Opening Impossible Avenues In Medicine With 3D Printing

3D Printing finds a number of applications in medicine; to produce patient specific anatomical models, surgical guides, jigs and fixtures, customised implants and device testing prototypes.

There’s nothing more customized in the world than the human body and 3D Printing allows customization to a hitherto impossible level of detail. From study, diagnosis and planning to surgical guides, and patient-specific implants, this technology plays an important role at every stage in healthcare. The benefits are numerous:

  • Detailed Pathology
  • Analysis of different surgical approaches
  • Reduction In OR Time
  • Optimised device design and development by testing and validation
  • Enhanced Clinical education
  • Effective communication tool

Imaginarium Life aims to bring the best in 3D technologies such as 3D Printing, scanning and simulation to the world of Healthcare and Medicine, allowing medical practitioners to customize treatments for every patient.

Case Study I

Challenge: CHD, Congenital Heart Disease is a birth defect that brings with it a further complication of Ventricular Septum Defect, where an abnormal opening in the ventricular septum allows purified and impure blood to mix. 2D DICOM images cannot convey the complexity of these cases where an exact picture of the location and size of the opening is needed to decide on the correct course of action. The doctors asked Imaginarium to create a model that could be dissected to show the family the exact nature of the problem and decide for them on how the surgery needed to proceed.

3D Printed Anatomical Model of CHD

Our Solution: Imaginarium Life created a digital model along with the virtual patch generation that helped in accurate analysis of the defect. The model outlined the exact shape, size and location of the defect and the 3D geometry made studying the turbulence/linearity of blood flow with ease. This helped visualise the various outcomes of different surgical approaches and helped the family make an informed decision.

Case Study II

Challenge: A patient suffering from advanced renal cancer needed to undergo a complex and delicate surgical procedure. This required the removal of a tumor that was present in the upper cortex of the kidney and even a slight miscalculation could lead to complete renal failure. This could only be done with the help of an exact model of the kidney that segmented crucial veins and arteries. The doctors approached Imaginarium to collaborate with them to create the model.

Our Solution: On receiving the DICOM data, a digital model of the kidney was made. Major veins and arteries were identified and segmented along with the location and size of the tumor. Once the CAD file was locked, it was sent for printing. The printed part was finished and in no time the doctors had a tangible 3D kidney to help plan their surgery.

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