Home > New 3D printing technology creates lifelike multi-material biomodels, changing surgical planning and training landscape

New 3D printing technology creates lifelike multi-material biomodels, changing surgical planning and training landscape

Editorial
article image View of bio model with biopsy arm and biopsy needle in place

Stratasys Asia Pacific has collaborated with the University of Malaya's Centre for Biomedical and Technology Integration (CBMTI) to showcase lifelike multi-material biomodels using Stratasys 3D printing technology, simulating endoscopic neurosurgical procedures, which can change surgical planning and training landscape.

Stratasys Asia Pacific is a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd., a manufacturer of 3D printers and materials for personal use, prototyping, and production. 

CBMTI specialises in creating custom biomodels for purposes of training and research to enhance surgeon training experience. The adoption of the multi-material Stratasys Objet Connex500 and Objet Eden350 3D printers allows production of models featuring different textures and densities over the surface and throughout the interior, simulating human body parts accurately, and cost-effectively creating realistic models. 

The process begins with data from CT and MRI scans converting into imaging data with material characteristics assigned to each portion. The 3D printers then use the data to build physical models that are accurate spatially and anatomically.

Describing it as a major breakthrough from both research and training perspectives, Yuwaraj Kumar Balakrishnan, Operations Manager of CBMTI, said creating custom biomodels used to be an extensive and painstaking process, which could sometimes take up to a few weeks. However, with Stratasys 3D printers, they have been able to mould titanium plates for cranial implants as well as create biomodels with pathology from actual patient imaging data. 

CBMTI has since increased its production capacity by 40 percent with Stratasys' 3D printers. It also uses the Objet Connex 3D printer for creating prototypes for university research projects and manufactures bio-models and the Eden 3D printer for surgical planning, focusing on devices used during surgery. In addition to lifelike realism, the process of fabricating end-use products directly from imaging data allows scaled-down versions of its models for quick testing. 

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