Rapid prototyping, a process that creates three-dimensional physical models, is similar to the production of two-dimensional models by a printer. Rapid prototyping is very beneficial in many industries, including engineering, manufacturing, machine tooling and medicine. This article will discuss various medical applications of rapid prototyping.
Rapid prototyping is used in the medical world to fabricate teaching aids and customized implants for surgical teams. Modern technology allows researchers to use computer tomography scans to create prototypes of a patient's bones, tendons, and other body parts.
Having a physical model in hand enables the surgical team to practice the medical procedure before the patient is actually admitted for surgery. Because the team knows exactly how they will be performing the operation, the duration of the surgery will be significantly reduced.
Several vital applications of medical rapid prototyping include pre-surgical plan modeling; the development of teaching aids and custom surgical implants; and mechanical bone replication. These functions are discussed in greater detail below.
Pre-Surgical Plan Modeling
Computer tomography scans are often used to create a model of a fractured bone, such as the jawbone or part of the skull. The model allows the surgical team to pre-bend fixation plates and accurately select screws and other accoutrements for the surgery. In a field where anatomical abnormalities abound, the ability to create a model before the surgery begins dramatically increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Models printed by rapid prototyping accurately depict various parts of the body. The use of these anatomical structures for educational and display purposes saves both time and money.
Custom Surgical Implants
Because rapid prototyping allows for the printing of images displayed on x-rays or computer tomography scans, custom implants can be designed without invasive surgery. This feature results in reduced risk for the patient and less time in the operating room for the surgical team.
Mechanical Bone Replication
Rapid prototyping allows for the perfect duplication of mechanical characteristics and variations in bone specific to each patient. This unique capability enables technicians to test the strength and other tensile characteristics of bone. Additionally, rapid prototyping allows technicians to measure the reaction of bone to fractures and stresses.
Rapid prototyping Changes Lives
Rapid prototyping has been used to assist children suffering from Arthogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a non-progressive medical condition that causes stiff joints and underdeveloped muscles. Researchers have used rapid prototyping technology to recreate larger versions of support systems for use by smaller children.Share
5 November 2014
After watching my mother navigate treatment for breast cancer in my early teens, I knew pretty much what to expect from my dad's diagnosis with prostate cancer. What I didn't know was how different chemotherapy and radiation can affect different people. My mother became very ill while my dad seemed to weather the treatments with few ill effects. I spent a long time researching the differences in treatments, types of chemotherapy, and how each one can react differently with the body. I created this blog to help others understand the same things, because I knew I couldn't be the only one unfamiliar with it. I hope it helps you if someone you love is facing treatment for any type of cancer.