The use of 3D printed medical models for pre-surgical simulation is starting to become commonplace. Exact numbers are not available and it may not be implemented in all hospitals yet, however almost all professionals are now aware of the possibilities and advantages it offers especially in terms of reducing time in the OR and for patient recovery.
3D LifePrints, a 3D technology company that provides innovative solutions in emerging and expanding markets, is now taking this opportunity to a new level in terms of realism and accessibility by offering an unparalleled selection of multi-material, multicolor 3D printed silicone medical models for a wider than ever range of applications.
In the UK, 3D LifePrints already supplies 3D printing services into the medical sector. From its embedded 3D printing hub at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, the company has been supplying bespoke 3D printed anatomical models to the NHS, private hospitals, universities and medical training centres. Now medical professionals from all over the world can contact 3D LifePrints to bring these services to their medical institution.
3D printing enables the rapid creation of a range of anatomical models that are ideal for surgical simulations. Anatomical models are made to order, either from stock data or from patient specific scans. They are created in a variety of materials to suit the purpose and can include bespoke elements so a range of surgical skills can be assessed. The use of anatomical models for high fidelity surgical simulations is on the rise due to strict animal protection laws and barriers in using cadaveric anatomical models avoid any such issues.
The company implements a number of different technologies, including thermal filament extrusion for low-cost large parts, polyjet for multi-material parts and binder jetting for plaster bone-like parts. The company also stands out for its silicone 3D printing capabilities offering the highest level of realism in a variety organ simulations.These 3D printed products can provide ultra-realistic and durable medical trainers.
The models can be modified to suit customers’ needs and have the advantage of being able to be provided in small numbers as required. In the nephrectomy simulator, for example, the models are created in a range of silicone densities and colours to match those in the body. The models can be placed within a laparoscopic simulator for dissection. The tumour, parenchyma and capsule are created in contrasting density of silicone to allow clear differentiation. The arteries, veins and ureter can be included. Kidney stones can also be supplied if required.
In the craniotomy simulator the models for simulation are made in a variety of materials that closely mimic the appearance and physical properties of the anatomy. The brain is 3D printed in life-like silicone together with a skull in woodfill (wood-like filament) or plaster. The skin is created by adding a thin layer of silicone onto the skull. The materials have been selected to provide as high fidelity as is possible without using organic sources.
The list of current 3D LifePrints current simulators is the largest ever built. Simulation packages include Nephrectomy, Ovarian Cyst, Craniotomy, Cardiac, Hemithorax, Lobectomy, Complete urinary, Cystoscopy, Cricothyroidotomy, Fetus and Uterus, Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy, Suture trainers, IV trainers and Airways trainer.
The models currently present in 3D LIfePrints’ catalogue are examples of the simulation and training devices that can be provided. 3D LifePrints is also able to work with clients to design and produce new models to fit each simulation requirement. The company continues to develop new and improved materials for the models which mimic the properties of tissue and bone, and the of available models list will continue to expand to include every single human organ. Further information on availability and pricing are in the full brochure which can downloaded here: 3DLP Simulation and Training Brochure