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  • embodi3d

    Selling Your Medical Model Files on Embodi3D.com

    By embodi3d

    Dear Community Members,
    After many months of work, we are happy to announce the addition of a feature that will allow you to sell medical models you have designed on Embodi3D.com. While we always have encouraged our members to consider allowing their medical STL files to be downloaded for free, we understand that when a ton of time is invested in creating a valuable and high-quality model, it is reasonable to ask for something in return. Now Embodi3D members have two options: 1) You can share your medical models for free, or 2) you can charge for them. We hope these two options encourage more sharing and file uploads. The more models available, the more it helps the medical 3D printing community.   For more details on how to sell your medical masterpieces on Embodi3D, go to the selling page.         Thanks, and happy 3D printing!
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  • Dr. Mike

    A Ridiculously Easy Way to Convert CT Scans to 3D Printable Bone STL Models for Free in Minutes

    By Dr. Mike

    Please note the democratiz3D service was previously named "Imag3D" In this tutorial you will learn how to quickly and easily make 3D printable bone models from medical CT scans using the free online service democratiz3D®. The method described here requires no prior knowledge of medical imaging or 3D printing software. Creation of your first model can be completed in as little as 10 minutes.   You can download the files used in this tutorial by clicking on this link. You must have a free Embodi3D member account to do so. If you don't have an account, registration is free and takes a minute. It is worth the time to register so you can follow along with the tutorial and use the democratiz3D service.   >> DOWNLOAD TUTORIAL FILES AND FOLLOW ALONG << Both video and written tutorials are included in this page.           Before we start you'll need to have a copy of a CT scan. If you are interested in 3D printing your own CT scan, you can go to the radiology department of the hospital or clinic that did the scan and ask for the scan to be put on a CD or DVD for you. Figures 1 and 2 show the radiology department at my hospital, called Image Management, and the CDs that they give out. Most radiology departments will have you sign a written release and give you a CD or DVD for free or with a small processing fee. If you are a doctor or other healthcare provider and want to 3D print a model for a patient, the radiology department can also help you. There are multiple online repositories of anonymized CT scans for research that are also available.     Figure 1: The radiology department window at my hospital.       Figure 2: An example of what a DVD containing a CT scan looks like. This looks like a standard CD or DVD.       Step 1: Register for an Embodi3D account   If you haven't already done so, you'll need to register for an embodi3d account. Registration is free and only takes a minute. Once you are registered you'll receive a confirmatory email that verifies you are the owner of the registered email account. Click the link in the email to activate your account. The democratiz3D service will use this email account to send you notifications when your files are ready for download.   Step 2: Create an NRRD file with Slicer If you haven't already done so, go to slicer.org and download Slicer for your operating system. Slicer is a free software program for medical imaging research. It also has the ability to save medical imaging scans in a variety of formats, which is what we will use it for in this tutorial. Next, launch Slicer. Insert your CD or DVD containing the CT scan into your computer and open the CD with File Explorer or equivalent file browsing application for your operating system. You should find a folder that contains numerous DICOM files in it, as shown in Figure 3. Drag-and-drop the entire DICOM folder onto the Slicer welcome page, as shown in Figure 4. Click OK when asked to load the study into the DICOM database. Click Copy when asked if you want to copy the images into the local database directory.     Figure 3: A typical DICOM data set contains numerous individual DICOM files.     Figure 4: Dragging and dropping the DICOM folder onto the Slicer application. This will load the CT scan.   Once Slicer has finished loading the study, click the save icon in the upper left-hand corner as shown in Figure 5. One of the files in the list will be of type NRRD. make sure that this file is checked and all other files are unchecked. click on the directory button for the NRRD file and select an appropriate directory to save the file. then click Save, as shown in Figure 6.     Figure 5: The Save button     Figure 6: The Save File box   The NRRD file is much better for uploading then DICOM. Instead of having multiple files in a DICOM data set, the NRRD file encapsulates the entire study in a single file. Also, identifiable patient information is removed from the NRRD file. The file is thus anonymized. This is important when sending information over the Internet because we do not want identifiable patient information transmitted.   Step 3: Upload the NRRD file to Embodi3D   Now go to www.embodi3d.com, click on the democratiz3D navigation menu and select Launch App, as shown in Figure 7. Drag and drop your NRRD file where indicated. While NRRD file is uploading, fill in the "File Name" and "About This File" fields, as shown in Figure 8.     Figure 7: Launching the democratiz3D application     Figure 8: Uploading the NRRD file and entering basic information To complete basic information about your NRRD file. Do you want it to be private or do you want to share it with the community? Click on the Private File button if the former. If you are planning on sharing it, do you want it to be a free or a paid (licensed) file? Click the appropriate setting. Also select the License Type. If you are keeping the file private, these settings don't matter as the file will remain private. Make sure you accepted the Terms of Use, as shown in Figure 9.     Figure 9: Basic information fields about your uploaded NRRD file   Next, turn on democratiz3D Processing by selecting the slider under democratiz3D Processing. Make sure the operation CT NRRD to Bone STL is selected. Leave the default threshold of 150 in place. Choose an appropriate quality. Low quality produces small files quickly but the output resolution is low. Medium quality is good for most applications and produces a relatively good file that is not too large. High quality takes the longest to process and produces large output files. Bear in mind that if you upload a low quality NRRD file don't expect the high quality setting to produce a stellar bone model. Medium quality is good enough for most applications. If you wish, you have the option to specify whether you want your output file to be Private or Shared. If you're not sure, click Private. You can always change the visibility of the file later. If you're happy with your settings, click Save & Submit Files. This is shown in Figure 10.     Figure 10: Entering the democratiz3D Processing parameters.       Step 4: Review Your Completed Bone Model After about 10 to 20 minutes you should receive an email informing you that your file is ready for download. The actual processing time may vary depending on the size and complexity of the file and the load on the processing servers. Click on the link within the email. If you are already on the embodied site, you can access your file by going to your profile. Click your account in the upper right-hand corner and select Profile, as shown in Figure 11.     Figure 11: Finding your profile.   Your processed file will have the same name as the uploaded NRRD file, except it will end in "– processed". Renders of your new 3D model will be automatically generated within about 6 to 10 minutes. From your new model page you can click "Download this file" to download. If you wish to share your file with the community, you can toggle the privacy setting by clicking Privacy in the lower right-hand corner. You can edit your file or move it from one category to another under the File Actions button on the lower left. These are shown in Figure 12.     Figure 12: Downloading, sharing, and editing your new 3D printable model.   If you wish to sell your new file, you can change your selling settings under File Actions, Edit Details. Set the file type to be Paid, and specify a price. Please note that your file must be shared in order for other people to see it. This is shown in Figure 13. If you are going to sell your file, be sure you select General Paid File License from the License Type field, or specify your own customized license. For more information about selling files, click here.     Figure 13: Making your new file available for sale on the Embodi3D marketplace.     That's it! Now you can create your own 3D printable bone models in minutes for free and share or sell them with the click of a button.If you want to download the STL file created in this tutorial, you can download it here. Happy 3D printing!  
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  • Dr. Mike

    Easily Create 3D Printable Muscle and Skin STL Files from Medical CT Scans

    By Dr. Mike

    In this tutorial we will learn how to use the free medical imaging conversion service on embodi3D.com to create detailed anatomic muscle and skin 3D printable models in STL file format from medical CT scans. Muscle models show the detailed musculature by subtracting away the skin and fat. Even when created from a scan of an obese person, the model looks like it comes from a bodybuilder, Figure 1A. Skin models show an exact replica of the skin surface. The finest details are captured, including wrinkles and veins underneath the skin. Hair however is not captured in a CT scan and thus the model does not have any hair, Figure 1B. Figure 1A (left): A muscle 3D printable model. Figure 1B (right): A skin 3D printable model   These models can be used for a variety of purposes such as medical and scientific education and research. Additionally, the skin models can be used to re-create a person's likeness in 3D from a medical scan. If you have had a CT scan of the head, you can create a lifelike replica of your head. You can create replicas of your friends, family, or even pets if they have had a medical CT scan. Alternatively, if you have a loved one who passed away but had a CT scan prior to death, you can use the scan to re-create an exact replica of their face. Even scans that are years old can be used for this purpose. Some people may consider this to be a little creepy, so if you are considering doing this think carefully first.   Before proceeding please register for an embodi3D.com account if you haven't already. You will need an account to use the service. It is highly recommended that you download the associated file pack for this tutorial so that you can follow along with the exact same files that are used in this tutorial.   >> DOWNLOAD THE FREE FILE PACK BY CLICKING HERE <<   If you are interested in learning how to use the free embodi3D.com service, see my prior tutorials on creating bone models, processing multiple models simultaneously, and sharing and selling your models on the embodi3D.com website.       If you are interested in converting your own CT scan or that of a friend or family member, you can go to the radiology department of the hospital or clinic that did the scan and ask for the scan to be put on a CD or DVD for you. Figure 2 shows the radiology department at my hospital, called Image Management, and the CDs that they give out. Most radiology departments will have you sign a written release and give you a CD or DVD for free or with a small processing fee. If you are a doctor or other healthcare provider and want to 3D print a model for a patient, the radiology department can also help you. There are multiple online repositories of anonymized CT scans for research that are also available. If you have downloaded the file pack for this tutorial, example CT scans are included   Figure 2A, the Image Management (radiology) department at my hospital, where you can pick up a DVD of your CT scan as shown in Figure 2B (right). My hospital does this for free, but some may charge a trivial fee.   PART 1: Creating a Muscle STL model from NRRD File   Before we begin please bear in mind that this process only works for CT scan images. It will not work for MRI images. Before proceeding please check that the scan you wish to convert is a CT (CAT) scan!   Step 1: Convert Your CT scan to an Anonymized NRRD File with 3D Slicer Open 3D Slicer. If you don't have the software program you can download it for free from slicer.org. Once Slicer has opened, take the folder from the download pack that is called STS_004. This folder contains anonymized DICOM images from a CT scan of the legs of a 24-year-old woman who had a muscle tumor. Drag and drop the entire folder onto the Slicer window, as shown in Figure 3. Slicer will ask you if you want to load the images into the DICOM database. Click OK. Slicer will also ask you if it should copy the images into the database, click Copy. Slicer will take about one minute to load the scanned. Figure 3: Drag-and-drop the STS_004 DICOM folder from the file pack onto the Slicer window   Next, load the scan into the active wor king area in slicer. If the DICOM browser is not open, click on the Show DICOM browser button, as shown in Figure 4. Click on the STS_004 patient and series, and click the Load button, as shown in Figure 4. The leg CT scan will now load into the active seen within Slicer, as shown in Figure 5.   Figure 4: Open the DICOM browser and load the study into the active seen   Figure 5: The leg CT scan is shown in the active seen   Step 2: Trim the Scan so that only the Right Thigh is included. Click on the Volume Rendering module from the Modules drop-down menu as shown in Figure 6. Turn on volume rendering by clicking on the eyeball button, as shown in Figure 7. Then, center the model in the 3D pane by clicking on the crosshairs button, Figure 7. If you don't have the same window layout as shown in Figure 7, you can correct this by clicking on the Four-Up window layout from the window layout drop-down menu, as shown in Figure 8.   Figure 6: Turn on the volume rendering module   Figure 7: Center the rendered volume.   Figure 8: Make sure you are in the Four-Up window layout   Next we are going to crop the volume so that we exclude everything other than the right knee and thigh. From the modules menu, select All Modules, Crop Volume, as shown in Figure 9. Turn on ROI visibility by clicking on the eyeball button, as shown in Figure 10. Then, move the region of interest box so that it only encapsulates the right thigh, as shown in Figure 10. You can adjust the size of the box by grabbing on the colored circular handles and moving the sides of the box as needed.   Figure 9: The Crop Volume module.   Figure 10: Turning on and adjusting the crop volume ROI (Region Of Interest) Once the crop volume ROI is adjusted to the area that you want, perform the crop by clicking on the Crop button, Figure 11.   Figure 11: the Crop button.   The new, smaller volume that encompasses the right fight and knee has been assigned a cryptic name. The entire scan had a name of "2: CT IMAGES – RESEARCH," and the new thigh volume has a name "2: CT IMAGES-RESEARCH-subvolume-scale_1." That's a mouthful and I want to rename it to something more descriptive. I'm going to select the Volumes module, and then select the "2: CT IMAGES-RESEARCH-subvolume-scale_1" from the Active Volume drop-down menu. Then, from the same drop-down menu I'm going to select "Rename Current Volume". Type in whatever name you want. In this case I'm choosing "right thigh."   Figure 12: Renaming the newly cropped volume.   Step 3: Save the right thigh volume as an anonymized NRRD file.   Click on the Save button in the upper left-hand corner. The save window is then shown. All the checkboxes on the left except for the one that corresponds to the right by. Make sure the file format for this line says NRRD (.nrrd). Make sure you specify the proper directory you want the file to be saved as. When you are satisfied click on save. This is demonstrated in Figure 13. In the specified directory you should see a called right thigh.nrrd. Figure 13: The save file options.   Step 4: Upload the NRRD file to embodi3D.com   Make sure you are logged into your embodi3D.com account. Click on Imag3D from the nav bar, Launch App. Then drag-and-drop your NRRD file onto the upload pain, as shown in Figure 14. Figure 14: Uploading the NRRD file to embodi3D.com.   While the file is uploading, fill in the required fields, including the name of the uploaded file, a brief description, file privacy, and license type. Except the terms of use. next, turn on Imag3D processing.  Under operation, select "CT NRRD to Muscle STL."  Leave the threshold value unchanged. Under quality, select medium or high. Specify your privacy preference for your output STL file. If you are going to share this file, you can choose to share it for free or sell it. Please see my separate tutorial on how to share and sell your files on the embodi3D.com website for additional details. When you're happy with your choices, save the file, as shown in Figure 15: Figure 15: File processing options.   Step 5: Download your new STL file after processing is completed.   In about 5 to 15 minutes you should receive an email that says your file has finished processing and is ready to download. Follow the link in the email or access the new file via your profile on the embodi3D.com website. Your newly created STL file should have several rendered thumbnails associated with it on its download page. If you want to download the file click on the Download button, as shown in Figure 16. Figure 16: the download page for your new muscle STL file   I opened the file in AutoDesk MeshMixer to have another look at it, and it looks terrific, as shown in Figure 17. This file is ready to 3D print! Figure 17: The final 3D printable muscle model. PART 2: Creating a Skin Model STL File Ready for 3D Printing Creating a skin model is essentially identical to creating the muscle model, except instead of choosing the CT NRRD to Muscle STL on the embodi3D.com service, we choose CT NRRD to Skin STL. Step 1: Load DICOM image set into Slicer   Launch Slicer. From the tutorial file pack drag and drop the MANIX folder onto the Slicer window to load this head and neck CT scan data set. This is shown in Figure 18.   Figure 18: Loading the head and neck CT scan into Slicer. It may take a minute or two to load. From the DICOM browser, click on the ANGIO CT series as shown in Figure 19.   Figure 19: Loading the ANGIO CT series from the MANIX data set   Step 2: Skip the trimming and crop volume operations   In this case we don't need to trim and crop a volume as we did with the muscle file above. We can skip Step 2. Step 3: Save the CT scan in NRRD format. Just as with the muscle file above, save the volume in NRRD format. Click on the save button, make sure that the checkbox for the nrrd file is selected and all other checkboxes are deselected. Specify the correct directory you want the file to be saved in, and click Save.   Step 4: Upload your NRRD file of the head to the embodi3D website. Just as with the muscle file process as shown above, upload the head NRRD file to the embodi3D.com website. Enter in the required fields. In this case, however, under Operation choose the CT NRRD to Skin STL operation, as shown in Figure 20. Figure 20: Selecting the CT NRRD to Skin STL file operation   Step 5: Download your new Skin STL file   After about 5 to 15 minutes, you should receive an email that says your file processing has been completed. Follow the link in the email or look for your file in the list the files you own in your profile. You should see that your skin STL file has been completed, with several rendered images, as shown in Figure 21. Go ahead and download your file. You can then check the quality of your file in Meshmixer as shown in Figure 22. In this instance everything looks great and the file is error free and ready for 3D printing.  
    Figure 21: The download page for your newly created 3D printable skin STL file.   Figure 22: Opening the file in Meshmixer for quality control checks. The file is error free and incredibly lifelike. It is ready for 3D printing.   Thank you very much! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you use this service to create 3D printable models, please consider sharing your models with the embodi3D community. Here is a detailed tutorial that I wrote on exactly how to do this. This community is built on medical 3D makers helping  each other. Please share the models that you create!
     
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Bioprinting Helps Create Transplantable Cartilages, Muscles and Bones

Organ transplantations and surgical reconstructions using autografts and allografts have always been challenging. Apart from the complexity of the procedure, healthcare professionals also have difficulty finding compatible donors. Autografts derived from one part of the body may not fit in completely at the new location causing instability and discomfort. As per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 22 people die each day due to a shortage of transplantable organs. Creating more awareness about organ donation is only part of the solution. Researchers have to look for other alternatives, and this is where technologies such as three-dimensional medical printing and bioprinting are making an impact.   Integrated Tissue-Organ Printing System (ITOP)
Millions of dollars are being invested to develop technologies that will help healthcare professionals print muscles, bones and cartilages using a printer and transplant them directly into patients. The ITOP system is a big step in that direction. It was developed by researchers at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. They used a special biodegradable plastic material to form the tissue shape, a water-based gel to contain the cells, and a temporary outer structure to maintain shape during the actual printing process. The scientists extracted a small part of tissue from the human body and allowed its cells to replicate in vitro before placing them in the bioprinter to generate bigger structures.   Unlike other 3-D printers, the ITOP system can print large tissues with an internal latticework of valleys that allows the flow nutrients and fluids. As a result, the tissue can survive for months in a nutrient medium prior to implantation. Researchers have used this technology to develop mandible and calvarial bones, cartilages and skeletal muscles. The goal is to create more complex replacement tissues and organs to offset the shortage of transplantable body parts.   Polylaprocaptone Bone Scaffolds
Researchers at John Hopkins are also developing 3-D printable bone scaffolds that can be placed in the human body. Their ingredients include a biodegradable polyester, known as Polylaprocaptone, and pulverized natural bone material. Polylaprocaptone has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other clinical applications. Researchers combined it with natural bone powder and special nutritional broth for cell development. The cells were added to a 3-D printer to generate bone scaffolds, which have been successfully implanted into animal models. Researchers at John Hopkins are now looking for the perfect ratio of Polylaprocaptone and bone powder that will produce consistent results. They will subsequently test their scaffolds in humans as well.   More studies are being done as we speak. Many surgeons have also started using 3-D printed tissues and bones to help their patients. In the next few years, this technology will become more accessible, affordable and effective and may change medicine forever.   Sources:
Photo Credit: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Scientists 3D Print Transplantable Human Bone

mattjohnson

mattjohnson

 

Upcoming SME conference “Building Evidence for Medical 3D Printing Applications in Medicine” will be forum to discuss future of medical 3D printing

SME is holding an inaugural conference in about a week and a half, titled “Building Evidence for 3D Printing Applications in Medicine.” It’s sponsored by Materialize, a company that develops software for 3D printing and produces 3D-printed projects for researchers, clinicians, and consumers.   This is a crucial topic for doctors, patients, and the medical 3D printing industry. 3D printing will not be widely accepted in the clinic without compelling, systematic evidence that it is better than existing technologies and improves outcomes for patients. This type of evidence is also needed to gain reimbursement approval from insurance companies.   According to a blog post on the Materialize website for hospitals, the goal of the conference is to “work on a common set of guidelines regarding methodologies and assessment methods” for gathering clinical evidence of outcomes of the use of 3D printing in medicine.   Because each device manufactured by 3D printing is different, and the planning stage has a great impact on the outcome, the problem of developing standardized guidelines for collecting clinical evidence is challenging. As we’ve seen here at Embodi3D.com, the promise of 3D printing to help a great number of patients makes this problem worth pursuing.   One of the speakers in the following video, Andy Christensen, a business strategist for medical devices, 3D printing, and medical imaging, gets into the specifics of what types of evidence will be needed, “In medicine, the evidence 3D printing technologies should focus on gathering, will include things like overall patient outcomes, the invasiveness of the procedure, the total cost of the procedure, and things like revision rates for surgeries or other procedures. Now, while some of these are fairly easy, some of these may be fairly difficult to gather, and I think that’s a good reason a collaborative effort to gather information will be best.” Developing a collaborative effort to gather information is the goal of the conference.     Over two days, the conference will feature the clinical, engineering, and economic perspectives on the major thrusts of medical 3D printing: 3D printed anatomical models, 3D printed instruments and surgical guides, and 3D printed patient-specific implants. There will be many opportunities for discussion. Representatives from government agencies, the FDA and NIH, will join industry and clinical professionals to share their thoughts.   This initiative is part of the SME Medical Manufacturing Innovations Program (MMI) and the group will organize ongoing discussions online.   The conference will be co-located with RAPID, the annual SME 3D-printing conference, so that people can conveniently attend both. RAPID will of course also have many sessions on 3D printing for medical applications.   There’s still time to register to attend the RAPID conference held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, on May 16-19. The “Building Evidence for 3D Printing Applications in Medicine” conference was only open to supporters and people significantly involved in 3D printing with relevant perspectives, through an application process. Embodi3D.com will continue to follow the outcomes of this highly relevant conference.
 

3D Bioprinted Ankles to Help Relieve Arthritic Pain

Imagine an orthopedic surgeon printing customized ankle bones with a printer and implanting them into patients to help them walk again. Consider a surgeon printing reconstructive wedges for an ankle surgery in his office and using them to replace staples, screws and plates. While these scenarios may seem like science fiction, advances in 3-dimensional medical printing are turning them into reality.   The human ankle is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints and almost 100 muscles. Together, these components bear a significant portion of the body weight and are exposed to a lot of wear and tear. Ankle problems, such as arthritis, can be immensely painful and debilitating. The condition impacts about 1 – 4 percent of the population, as per an article published in the 2010 edition of the journal Current Opinion in Rheumatology. Conservative treatments include medications, physical therapy and devices. If these treatments fail, the patient may require surgical interventions such as arthroscopic debridement or arthrodesis.   Current Innovations
Arthrodesis involves the fusion of ankle bones using screws and plates. The patients may also require bone grafts occasionally, which can get cumbersome and painful. Zimmer Biomet, a prominent name in reconstructive orthopedic industry, has created an innovative solution with 3-dimensional bioprinting technology. The company's Unite3D Bridge Fixation System consists of an “osteoconductive matrix” of biocompatible materials that mimics the ankle bones accurately and gets absorbed into the patient's body immediately. Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Greg Pomeroy of New England Foot and Ankle Specialists and Dr. John Early from Texas Orthopaedic Associates developed this system using Zimmer Biomet's proprietary OsseoTi material. The implants are available in nine different sizes to meet the needs of the patient. They also come with single-use surgical instruments.   In 2014, Dr. Marvin Brown of San Antonio Orthopedic Group in Texas used a 3-dimensional printer to obtain components and appropriate instrument guides for an ankle replacement surgery. The surgeon combined a modular prosthetic called Inbone and the bioprinted components effectively to help a patient recover from severe arthritic pain and injury. After the surgical intervention, the patient was able to walk with minimal pain. The new ankle is expected to last for 10 years.   Image Source:
  The Potential of 3D Printing in Podiatry
Most experts agree that these examples only form the tip of the iceberg. Three-dimensional bioprinting has the potential to revolutionize the field of podiatry. Current technology allows scientists to print high quality human hyaline cartilage consistently, and studies have shown that these single-celled chondrocyte structures can help treat osteoarthritis routinely using joint replacement surgeries. Bioprinting can also help print autografts of the required size thereby, reducing the need for extracting tissues from donor sites.   Healthcare professionals and researchers are immensely hopeful of impact that 3-D bioprinting will have on ankle conditions. More research is being done to come up with effective solutions that are affordably priced as well. Soon, complications associated with ankle surgeries may be a thing of the past.   Source:
What 3D Bioprinting Technology Means For Podiatry

mattjohnson

mattjohnson

 

embodi3D May 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the May 2016 embodi3D communication! In this letter we will highlight one member's contribution, showcase our new product catalog, and ask for your feedback. Let's get started!   Member Spotlight: Terrie Simmons-Ehrhardt Terrie Simmons-Ehrhardt, is a forensic anthropologist at Virginia Commonwealth University, who uses 3D printing to build a human osteology study collection. Her primary research is studying the relationship between the skull and the face for forensic facial approximation. She has written a great tutorial on using the Grayscale Model Maker module in 3D Slicer to create 3D printable anatomic models. In addition to the tutorial, she uploaded the resulting STL file to the embodi3D marketplace where other members can download it for free. This is a great example of what can be accomplished with free resources and ingenuity. Way to go Terrie! embodi3D's Vascular Model Product Catalog Did you know embodi3D produces 3D printed vascular training models for physician and medical professional training? Numerous medical device companies use these models to teach and demonstrate their devices under realistic circumstances. Hospitals and medical schools use them to teach residents, fellows and medical students how to perform vascular procedures.     We continue to develop new models and now have 9 venous and arterial models available. To handle the large volume of inquiries we have an online product catalog. Reply to this email with product questions. We Want Your Feedback We want to learn how we can help our members share their work. Please take our short poll. It takes less than 1 minute to complete.   At embodi3d.com we want to help members share their enthusiasm for biomedical 3D printing. One of the best ways to share is by uploading files to the marketplace. We have stocked the marketplace with files ready for 3D printing. However, there is an unlimited number of conditions which can be modeled. We can't think of all the possibilities.   This is where you come in. Many of our members have contributed files and this enriches the experience for everyone. We want to enable more members to share. We understand many members have questions, and want to learn how we can help you share your work. Please take our poll so we can continue improving your experience. Thanks for your feedback, it is greatly appreciated!   Thanks for your feedback, it is greatly appreciated! Wishing You Much Success!
The Embodi3D Team

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Modeling Pubic Bones for 3D Printing Pt. 1: Grayscale Model Maker in Slicer

Here is a tutorial for the Grayscale Model Maker in the free program Slicer, specifically for modeling pubic bones since they are used in anthropology for age and sex estimation. The Grayscale Model Maker is very quick and easy!   And I can't stand the "flashing" in the Editor.   For this example, I am using a scan from TCIA, specifically from the CT Lymph Node collection.   Slicer Functions used: Load Data/Load DICOM Volume Rendering Crop Volume Grayscale Model Maker Save  
Load a DICOM directory or .nrrd file.   Hit Ok.
Make sure your volume loads into the red, yellow, and green views. Select Volume Rendering from the drop-down.       Select a bone preset, such as CT-AAA. Then click on the eye next to "Volume."   ...Give it a minute...
Use the centering button in the top left of the 3D window to center the volume if needed. Since we only want the pubic bones, we will use the ROI box and Crop Volume tools to isolate that area.       To crop the volume check the "Enable" box next to "Crop" and click on the eye next to "Display ROI" to open it. A box appears in all 4 windows. The spheres can be grabbed and dragged in any view to adjust the size of the box. The 3D view is pretty handy for this so you can rotate the model around to get the area you want.   The model itself doesn't have to be perfectly symmetrical because you can always edit it later. Once you like the ROI, we can crop the volume.   To crop the volume, go to the drop-down in the top toolbar, select "All Modules" and navigate to "Crop Volume."   Once the Crop Volume workspace opens, just hit the big Crop button and wait. You won't see a change in the 3D window, but you will see your slice views adjust to the cropped area. At this point, you can Save your subvolume that you worked so hard to isolate in case your software crashes! Select the Save button from the top left of the toolbar and select the .nrrd with "subvolume" in the file name to save.     Now we will use the All Modules dropdown to open the Grayscale Model Maker. If you want to clear the 3D window of the volume rendering and ROI box, you can just go back to Volume Rendering, uncheck the Enable box and close the eyes for the Volume and ROI.     When using the Grayscale Model Maker, the only tricky thing here is to select your "subvolume" from the "Input Volume" list, otherwise your original uncropped volume will be used.     Click on the "Output Geometry" box and select "Create a new Model as..." and type in a name for your model.   Now move down to "Grayscale Model Maker Parameters" in the workspace.
I like to enter the same name for my Output Geometry into the "Model Name" field.
Enter a threshold value: 200 works well for bone, but for lower density bone, you might need to adjust it down. Since the Grayscale Model Maker is so fast, I usually start with 200 and make additional models at lower values to see which works best for the current volume.
***Here is where I adjust settings for pubic bones in order to retain the irregular surfaces of the symphyseal faces.***The default values for the Smoothing and Decimate parameters work well for other bones, but for the pubic symphyses, they tend to smooth out all the relevant features, so I slide them both all the way down.
Then hit Apply and wait for the model to appear in the 3D window (it will be gray).     You can see from the image above that my model is gray, but still has the beige from the Volume Render on it since I didn't close the Volume Rendering.
If for some reason you don't see your model: 1) check your Input Volume to make sure your subvolume is selected, 2) click on that tiny centering button at the top left of your 3D window, or 3) go to the main dropdown and go to "Models." If the model actually generated, it will be there with the name you specified, but sometimes the eye will be closed so just open it to look at your model.
Now we an save your subvolume and model using the Save button in the top left of the main toolbar. You can uncheck all the other options and just save the subvolume .nrrd and adjust the file type of your model to .stl. Click on "Change Directory" to specify where you want to save your files and Save!     This model still needs some editing to be printable, so stay tuned for Pt. 2 where I will discuss functions in Meshlab and Meshmixer.   Thanks for reading and please comment if you have any issues with these steps!

tsehrhardt

tsehrhardt

 

3D Bioprinting Vessels for Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering can't expand into three dimensions as long as cells can't access oxygen and nutrients via blood vessels. This remains a big challenge for the printable organ and tissue engineering communities.   Monica Moya and Elizabeth Wheeler, biomedical engineers at Laurence Livermore National Laboratory, are working on a way to solve this “plumbing problem,” as Moya puts it, using 3D bioprinting.   Moya has previously developed microfluidic devices to test the effect of mechanical cues on vessel growth, and published her work in the journal Lab on a Chip. Now she and Wheeler are collaborating on moving to a 3D printing platform. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory published a blog post last month describing their recent work.   First, they had to make sure that the printing techniques were compatible with cell viability. They had to change out the extrusion and fluidic parts of a standard 3D-printer, to eliminate the high temperatures and shear forces that would kill the cells.   The bioink, a fluid with biological components, contains endothelial cells, fibrin, and fibroblast cells. The viscosity had to be finely controlled, so that it would remain liquid inside the printer, and gel once in contact with the bed, to print out the tissue support for the vessels.   To make tubular vessels, a mixture of alginate (a polysaccharide isolated from seaweed) and fibroblast cells, is printed from a coaxial needle (a needle within a needle) resulting in printed vessel structures, called biotubes. Finally, more tissue bio-ink is laid down, enveloping the biotubes. The biotubes are hardened by flowing calcium solution through the tubes. The tissue patch starts to grow its own vessels, but it looks like spaghetti, with no organization. The alginate and calcium tubes eventually dissolve, leaving the vessels formed by the cells. Future planned developments include directing the vessel formation with nutrient and mechanical cues.   The youtube video demonstrates the printing process:     The photo above shows Monica Moya holding a dish with several of these biotubes. She explained their reasoning, “If you take this approach of co-engineering with nature you allow biology to help create the finer resolution of the printed tissue. We’re leveraging the body’s ability for self-directed growth, and you end up with something that is more true to physiology. We can put the cells in an environment where they know, ‘I need to build blood vessels.’ With this technology we guide and orchestrate the biology.”   Moya and Wheeler did an AMA on Reddit back in December to discuss their work with interested members of the public.   They have made tissue patches the size of one square centimeter, the size of a fingernail. Future directions include larger tissue patches. Potential applications of this work include drug testing, toxicology studies, and implantable tissues.   Moya and Wheeler’s work is part of a larger project called iCHIP (in vitro Chip-based Human Investigational Platform) looking to create a “human on a chip” where different teams are working on making tissue models of the stomach, liver, heart, kidney, brain, blood–brain barrier, immune system, and lungs, also described in a blog post on the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory website.   Photo credit: Lanie L. Rivera Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
 

Vascular Training Models

Embodi3D has created a line of super-accurate 3D printed vascular models for physician and medical professional advanced training. Created by a board-certified physician who performs vascular procedures daily, these models were created for maximum procedural realism while being more practical and less expensive than conventional animal labs or silicone tube models. Physician specialists who utilize these models include vascular surgeons, cardiologists, and radiologists. Numerous medical device companies use these models to teach and demonstrate their devices under realistic circumstances. Hospitals and medical schools use them to teach residents, fellows and medical students how to perform vascular procedures. Venous and arterial models are available. Contact us for model details and pricing. Venous Models
We offer a base model that is designed for IVC filter deployment and retrieval, as well as four modules that are compatible with this base model. Simply swap out the relevant components. Specifications for each of the models are covered on the individual product pages which you can access by clicking on the links below. IVC Filter Deployment/Retrieval Model Iliac Vein Stenosis Extension Model Gonadal Vein Embolization Extension Model Femoral Vein Extension Model Flexible SVC Extension Model   Arterial Models
Our arterial model product offering includes an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm EVAR model, and two abdominal aorta models, one of which stands alone, and one of which is extendable and compatible with the Upper and Lower Leg Extension model. Specifications for each of the models are covered on the individual product pages which you can access by clicking on the links below. Extendable Abdominal Aorta Model Upper and Lower Leg Extension Model Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm EVAR Model Stand-Alone Abdominal Aorta Model  

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Iliac Vein Stenosis Extension Model

Description: The iliac vein stenosis model is a single piece that replaces Part E (common iliac veins) in the IVC filter model. This model contains a high grade stenosis in the proximal left common iliac vein, the classic position of the so-called May-Thurner stenosis.   In May-Thurner syndrome, chronic compression and scarring of the proximal left common iliac vein, is caused by the crossing right common iliac artery. This results in stenosis of the left common iliac vein, slow blood flow, and eventually clotting and formation of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). After the DVT is cleared with anticoagulation or thrombectomy/thrombolysis, the iliac vein stenosis must be treated with venous stenting.   This model has a 4 mm thick, 9 mm wide stenosis at the crossing point between the left common iliac vein and the right common iliac artery. It is perfect for practicing venous stenting and thrombectomy/ thrombolysis.      
  Procedures that this model can teach or practice: venous stenting venous thrombectomy venous thrombolysis venous catheterization
Compatibility: Gonadal vein embolization extension model (# VGON01000C) Femoral vein extension model (# VFEM01000C) Flexible SVC extension model (# VSVC01000F)  
Required models: This model should be used with the IVC filter deployment/ retrieval model (# VIVC01000M)
For questions and pricing contact us. Please include the model name and number with your inquiry: Iliac Vein Stenosis Extension model (# VIVC01E2SC)

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

IVC Filter Deployment and Retrieval Model

Description: The IVC filter deployment/retrieval medical training model includes all the major venous structures in the human torso from the right jugular vein of the neck to the right and left common femoral veins at the level of the hips. The model allows for the education and training in a variety of venous and IVC filter related procedures.   The model was created from a real CT scan so the vessel positions, diameters, and angles are all real. Entry points are present at the right jugular vein and brachiocephalic vein for upper body access, and the bilateral common femoral veins for lower body access. Attachments are present to make placement of a real vascular sheath easy.   The model can be used to illustrate specific devices for the procedures listed and is used by medical device companies to demonstrate and teach the use of their products. The IVC model comes in a rugged and portable carrying case and is easily transportable. It assembles and disassembles in less than 20 seconds. A variety of extensions are available to expand the number of procedures that can be simulated.    
Procedures that this model can teach or practice: IVC filter placement, jugular or femoral approach Common iliac filter placement, jugular or femoral approach IVC filter retrieval Venous stenting IVC and iliac vein thrombectomy or thrombolysis Venous embolization Hepatic vein cannulation
Compatibility: Iliac vein stenosis extension model (# VIVC01E2SC) Gonadal vein embolization extension model (# VGON01000C) Femoral vein extension model (# VFEM01000C) Flexible SVC extension model (# VSVC01000F)
For questions and pricing contact us. Please include the model name and number with your inquiry: IVC Filter Deployment and Retrieval model (# VIVC01000M)

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Stand Alone Abdominal Aorta Model

Description: The original abdominal aorta model has detailed arterial anatomy generated from a real CT scan, so the exact vessel shapes, diameters, and angles are all real. Numerous detailed vessel branches are included for maximum realism and for practicing extremely fine catheterization. For example, the right, middle, and left hepatic arteries are included, which are only accessible after four levels of branching (Aorta -> Celiac artery -> Common hepatic artery -> Proper hepatic artery -> Right, middle, and left hepatic arteries).   Vascular sheath attachment points are present at the right and left common femoral arteries, as they would be during a real procedure. This provides an unparalleled level of realism for training in an in vitro model. It is a revolutionary training tool for interventional radiologists, cardiologists, and vascular surgeons. It is commonly used at professional training sessions, trade shows and conventions, in-hospital training sessions, and at medical schools for teaching residents and fellows. Medical device companies use the model to demonstrate and teach the use of their micro catheter, wire, and embolization products to physicians. This model is not compatible with other embodi3D models at this time.   The model assembles and disassembles in less than 20 seconds. It comes with its own durable and customized carrying case for safe and easy transport.
    Aneurysms for embolization: Splenic artery, proximal, 25 mm berry aneurysm, 10 mm neck Splenic artery, distal, 20 mm berry aneurysm, 7.5 mm neck Right renal, 10 mm berry aneurysm, 8 mm neck Left renal, inferior, 5 mm berry aneurysm, 3.5 mm neck Left iliac artery, fusiform aneurysm, 33 mm x 23 mm
Arterial Stenoses: Left renal, accessory branch, stenosis, 2mm
Arteries Included: Arteries Included: Abdominal aorta Common iliac arteries Internal and external iliac arteries Common femoral arteries Celiac artery and branches Splenic artery Left gastric artery Common hepatic artery, right hepatic artery Gastroduodenal artery Superior mesenteric artery and branches Inferior mesenteric artery and branches Renal arteries
Procedures that this model can teach or practice: Aneurysm embolization General Stent assisted Balloon assisted Vessel embolization Splenic artery Gastroduodenal artery (Y-90 mapping and upper GI bleeding) Yttrium-90 radioembolization mapping Yttrium-90 radioembolization treatment Hepatic chemoembolization Angiography for G.I. bleeding Renal artery angiography Renal artery stenting Pelvic angiography and embolization for trauma Internal iliac artery embolization Internal iliac artery stent-grafting Abdominal aorta stent-grafting
Compatibility: None
For questions and pricing contact us. Please include the model name and number with your inquiry: Stand Alone Abdominal Aorta Model (# AABD01000C)

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Extendable Abdominal Aorta Model

Description: The extendable abdominal aorta model is an enhanced version of the older standalone abdominal aorta model (AABD01000C). In addition to a variety of improvements, it has thicker walls for enhanced durability and new standardized magnetic attachment points that allow it to connect to other embodi3D arterial models. Like its predecessor, it is very adaptable and allows numerous arterial interventions in the abdomen and pelvis to be performed. The detailed arterial anatomy was generated from a real CT scan, so the exact vessel shapes, diameters, and angles are all real. Numerous detailed mesenteric branches are included for maximum realism and for practicing extremely fine catheterization. Vascular sheath attachment points are present at the right and left common femoral arteries, allowing sheath insertion at these points as in a real procedure. This provides an unparalleled level of realism for training in an in vitro model. It is a revolutionary training tool for interventional radiologists, cardiologists, and vascular surgeons. It is commonly used at professional training sessions, trade shows and conventions, in-hospital training sessions, and at medical schools for teaching residents and fellows. Medical device companies use the model to demonstrate and teach the use of their micro catheter, wire, embolization and stent products to physicians.
The model assembles and disassembles in less than 20 seconds. It comes with its own durable and customized carrying case for safe and easy transport.  
Aneurysms for embolization: Splenic artery, proximal, fusiform aneurysm 20 mm diameter x 40 mm length Splenic artery, distal, berry aneurysm, 20 mm diameter, 5 mm neck Right renal, berry aneurysm, 10 mm diameter, 4 mm neck Left internal iliac (hypogastric) artery, fusiform aneurysm, 25 mm diameter x 40 mm length Stenoses for stenting: Renal artery, left, 3 mm at origin Superior mesenteric artery, 3mm at origin Arteries Included: Abdominal aorta Common iliac arteries Internal and external iliac arteries Common femoral arteries Celiac artery and branches Splenic artery Left gastric artery Common hepatic artery, right hepatic artery Gastroduodenal artery Superior mesenteric artery and branches Inferior mesenteric artery and branches Renal arteries Procedures that this model can teach or practice: Aneurysm embolization General Stent assisted Balloon assisted Vessel embolization Splenic artery Gastroduodenal artery (Y-90 mapping and upper GI bleeding) Yttrium-90 radioembolization mapping Yttrium-90 radioembolization treatment Hepatic chemoembolization Angiography for G.I. bleeding Renal artery angiography Renal artery stenting Superior mesenteric artery stenting Pelvic angiography and embolization for trauma Internal iliac (hypogastric) artery embolization Internal iliac artery stent-grafting Abdominal aorta stent-grafting Compatibility: Upper and Lower Leg Extension Model (Model #AALE01000C) Thoracic aorta model (planned) Thoracic aortic aneurysm model (planned) For questions and pricing contact us. Please include the model name and number with your inquiry: Extendable Abdominal Aorta Model (# AABD02000C)

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm EVAR Model

Description: The abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) model contains a large fusiform abdominal aortic aneurysm for placement of aortic stent grafts (EVAR). The aneurysm measures 59 mm in diameter at its widest point. 26 French common femoral artery access points are present bilaterally to facilitate introduction of large devices. A strategically positioned magnetic connector in the middle of the aneurysm body allows the model to be disassembled for easy removal of deployed stent-grafts.    

              Procedures that this model can teach or practice:   Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) Compatibility: Upper and Lower Leg Extension Model(# AALE01000C) Thoracic aorta model (planned) Thoracic aortic aneurysm model (planned)
For questions and pricing contact us. Please include the model name and number with your inquiry: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm EVAR Model (#AAAA01000C)

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Upper and Lower Leg Extension Model

Description: The upper and lower leg extension model contains all the major arterial structures of the left leg from the hip to the level of the ankle. When connected to the extendable abdominal aorta model (Model # AABD02000C) or the AAA EVAR model (Model #AAAA01000C), complete arterial anatomy from the diaphragm to the ankles can be simulated. An SFA stenosis is incorporated in the model to allow stent placement. Detailed tibial arteries are included which can be catheterized. The model is ideal for demonstrating lower extremity arterial interventions.
                      Procedures that this model can teach or practice: Superficial femoral artery stenting Catheter atherectomy Superficial femoral artery Tibial arteries Balloon angioplasty (low-pressure) Lower extremity angiography
Compatibility: Extendable Abdominal Aorta Model (# AABD02000C) Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm EVAR Model (# AAAA01000C)
For questions and pricing contact us. Please include the model name and number with your inquiry: Upper and Lower Leg Extension Model (#AALE01000C)

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Flexible SVC Extension Model

Description: The flexible SVC and heart advanced IVC filter retrieval model is a large single piece model made of flexible material that accurately simulates the compliance of a vein. The softer material allows the passage of rigid instruments, such as metal biopsy forceps or rigid TIPS access cannulas. As these instruments are passed through the model, the walls deform to accommodate the instruments as they would in real life. This large single piece replaces the top three pieces of the standard IVC filter model.  
                  Procedures that this model can teach or practice: Advanced IVC filter retrieval Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt creation (TIPS) Transjugular liver biopsy Myocardial biopsy
Compatibility: Gonadal vein embolization model (# VGON01000C) Iliac vein stenosis extension model (# VICV01E2S) Femoral vein extension model (# VFEM01000C) Required models: This model should be used with the IVC filter deployment/ retrieval model (# VIVC01000M)
For questions and pricing contact us. Please include the model name and number with your inquiry: Flexible SVC Extension Model (#VSVC01000F)

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Femoral Vein Extension Model

Description: The femoral vein extension model extends the standard IVC venous model to the tibial veins below the knee. With a left iliac vein adapter part, the femoral and popliteal vein can be attached to the IVC model, giving a complete venous system from the jugular vein in the neck to the tibial veins below the left knee.   This venous model is perfect for demonstrating thrombolysis and thrombectomy devices, and for simulating lower extremity venous intervention from the popliteal approach. Sheath access points are present at the common femoral vein and distal popliteal vein segments.        
        Procedures that this model can teach or practice:   DVT thrombectomy DVT thrombolysis venous angioplasty and stenting IVC filter placement (popliteal access)
Compatibility: Iliac vein stenosis extension model (# VIVC01E2SC) Gonadal vein embolization extension model (# VGON01000C) Flexible SVC extension model(# VSVC01000F)
Required models: This model should be used with the IVC Filter Deployment and Retrieval Model (# VIVC01000M)
For questions and pricing contact us. Please include the model name and number with your inquiry: Femoral Vein Extension Model (# VFEM01000C)

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Gonadal Vein Embolization Extension Model

Description: The gonadal vein embolization model is a two-part model that is compatible with the standard IVC filter deployment/ retrieval model. It consists of a modified IVC segment that snaps into place in the IVC position, and a distal gonadal vein segment.   The pathologically dilated gonadal vein is from a real patient with severe pelvic congestion syndrome and consists of a dilated left gonadal vein that measures 11 mm in diameter. The abnormal vein can be accessed from the femoral or jugular approach and is perfect for deploying coils, occlusion devices, or foam. Once deployed the embolization devices can be easily removed.    
Procedures that this model can teach or practice: Gonadal vein embolization Renal vein sampling Adrenal vein sampling Compatibility: Iliac vein stenosis extension model (# VIVC01E2SC) Femoral vein extension model (# VFEM01000C) Flexible SVC extension model (# VSVC01000F) Required models: This model should be used with the IVC Filter Deployment and Retrieval Model (# VIVC01000M)
For questions and pricing contact us. Please include the model name and number with your inquiry: Gonadal Vein Embolization Extension Model (# VGON01000C)

embodi3d

embodi3d

 

Innovation in 3D-printed Surgical Models for Brain Tumors

Brain tumors located at the base of the skull are some of the most challenging to treat, because of their proximity to the brain stem, as well as important nerves and blood vessels in the head and neck (Johns Hopkins). The brain stem maintains breathing and heartbeat, the basics of life. Tumors found here are known as “skull base tumors” based on their location, not the type of tumor.   A group of doctors at Toho University Omori Medical Center in Tokyo, Japan, hope to improve surgical models for skull base tumors.   3D printed models are often made from opaque materials such as plaster, which make it difficult to visualize the essential brain structures. The doctors’ idea was to develop a surgical model where the tumor was made from a mesh structure.   First they had to design the mesh. They made a series of objects with different spacing between the mesh and different mesh thickness. They made 20 trials of each structure, a total of 400 models. Once they decided which mesh provided the most transparency and structural integrity (they chose the one in the photo below), they proceeded to test the tumor models.   Image Credit: Acta Neurochirurgica  To make the all the models, the researchers used the Z Printer 450 from 3D systems which uses binder jetting, where layers of a plaster powder are fused with a binding agent to make the model. The models were then coated in paraffin wax to make them more durable.   Once they decided on which grid to use for the tumor models, models were made from brain scans taken of four patients between 2007 and 2014. The imaging used for each patient was CT angiography (CTA) for the skull, MRI for the tumor and brainstem, and 3D digital subtraction angiography (DSA) for the blood vessels.   Twelve neurosurgeons (the authors of the study) evaluated models based on the visibility of the various brain structures comparing a solid tumor, a mesh tumor, and no tumor. (see photo above)   They determined that they the mesh tumor structure enabled them to both visualize the deep brain structures, and also understand the spatial relationships between those structures and the tumor.   The method was limited by the physical vulnerability of the mesh and the difficulty of judging the surface of the mesh tumor compared to the solid tumor model. The authors expected improvements in 3D printing technology to enable thinner mesh as well as translucent material.   Kosuke Kono et al. published a paper describing their study online two weeks ago in Acta Neurochirurgica: The European Journal of Neurosurgery.
 

Cardiologists hope to predict heart attacks with the aid of imaging, computer models, and 3D-printing

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA and other developed countries. Imagine the number of lives that could be saved if doctors could predict heart attacks before they happen.   Most heart attacks are caused by a buildup of cholesterol and triglycerides (called plaques) inside heart arteries that rupture, form blood clots, and block the artery.   But not all plaques rupture and not all plaque ruptures cause disease. An Australian team of medical doctors and mechanical engineers hopes to predict where plaques will form, which plaque sites will rupture, and which ruptured sites will cause heart attacks. With this knowledge cardiologists could place a stent to hold open the afflicted artery before the attack occurs.   As a river twists and branches, sediment builds up on some banks, and the water sweeps others bare. The same is true of arteries and plaque formation. And each individual has different arterial branches.   Knowing an individual’s heart artery structure will enable the design of individualized 3D-printed models to help plan surgery, and design perfectly fitted stents, which would aid in the current challenges of stent placement. Peter Barlis, the leader of the team, holds up a 3D printed artery in the leading image above.   Another member of the team, associate professor Andre McIsaac, said, “the long term outcome is dependent on how well our stents are put in, in fact how well they’re deployed and expanded and having the right size stent in the right spot in the correct coronary artery.”   Dr. Peter Barlis at the University of Melbourne and a team of researchers are working on predicting the sites of future heart attacks, by using state-of-the-art imaging techniques and computer models.   Images captured from inside a heart artery using Optical Coherence Tomography. Photo credit: University of Melbourne  The imaging technique, called optical coherence tomography (OCT), is a type of CT scan, except instead of x-rays it uses near-infra red light, at the edge of the visual spectrum. In the video below, you can see a red light on the camera. The light does not penetrate as deeply as x-rays do, so a wire-like camera is inserted into the heart via a vein. It can be performed at the same time as a routine angiogram. Barlis brought OCT imaging to Australia in 2009, and now it’s used in all major hospitals there. It was approved by the FDA for use in cardiology in the US in 2010.     But researchers can’t know if they actually prevented an attack or if it would not have happened in the first place.   They are attempting to connect arterial branch location, the types of mechanical stress on arterial walls, blood flow, and existing plaque to the risk of rupture. Barlis and a team of researchers published a review article in the European Heart Journal in February of this year about current computer modelling techniques to give other cardiologists insights into this growing field.   Press release at EurekAlert!
 

3D Printed Replica of Patient’s Brain Used to Plan a Complex Procedure

A neurosurgeon from Saskatoon in Canada has 3D printed a replica of a patient’s brain to help him plan a complex medical procedure.   Working with a team of engineers, Dr. Ivar Mendez created an accurate replica of the patient’s brain, which will allow him to practice surgery.   Dr. Mendez is the head of surgery at the University of Saskatchewan, and is already familiar with using advanced technologies to improve surgical results. He uses computers in the operating room, and has a medical engineer as part of his surgical team.   However, putting together a 3D brain was a more complicated task, but it would make it possible for him to practice working on some of the smallest components of a brain.   "You can imagine it as having a pea inside a sock or balloon," Mendez told CBC. "It is a complex system.”   What makes the model so valuable is that it’s an exact replica of the patient’s actual brain. If they have a tumor or other abnormality, Mendez and his team can create a replica that includes these unique features.

The patient in question was planned to undergo deep brain stimulation. Dr. Mendez needed to insert electrodes into the brain to help soothe overcharged neurons. He usually plans this kind of surgery using a computer model, but wasn’t successful in this case.  His idea was to position one electrode to affect two target neurons, but the computer model wasn’t capable of this kind of surgical planning. Human brains are particularly complex, which makes it difficult for computers to predict how the tissue will react to certain tools.   “I wanted a way to really, before I did a surgery, to know exactly how this was going to reach the brain and the targets I wanted,” Mendez told The Star Phoenix.   That’s why Mendez decided to team up with the school of engineering at U Saskatchewan, as well as radiology technicians and a neuropsychology specialist. The team worked together to make the MRI data understandable to the 3D printer.

The 3D model took 7 months of planning before a prototype was created. It was printed using a transparent material similar to rubber, that allows surgeons to see all the internal structures of the brain as well. Mendez said it also feels fairly similar to an actual human brain.  "I'm a neurosurgeon but I'm also interested in art. To me, this was an object of beauty,” he said.   Dr. Mendez believes the development of the technology will bring new opportunities for surgical practice.   "I envision that in the future we may be able to do procedures that are very difficult or impossible today," he said. "I feel that in the next 20, maybe 25 years, we will be able to print biological materials. We may be able to print organs."   Image Credits:
CBC
The Star Phoenix

cdmalcom

cdmalcom

 

embodi3D April 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the first embodi3D.com newsletter.com! We will communicate upcoming events, new site features, noteworthy content and provide industry updates through this newsletter.   Embodi3d.com is a place for sharing, learning and growing as biomedical 3D printing enthusiasts. Tutorials, blog articles, forum posts and file sharing are just some of the ways we are building a medical 3D printing community.   Introducing the embodi3D.com Marketplace For well over a year now we have offered a File Vault filled with free files. Members have contributed many of these files and now we want to give members the opportunity to sell files as well. We are launching a marketplace where you can buy and sell files related to biomedical 3D printing. The File Vault is now called the Marketplace. Members can choose whether the files they upload are available for free or set a sales price. Feel free to price your files as you deem appropriate. We know a lot of work goes into making the files! Read this article for selling files and watch this video tutorial for buying files. This is a beta release and we encourage you to reply to this email with feedback.   We have updated our Terms of Use to reflect the new features offered through the marketplace. Please review the new Terms of Use on embodi3D.com. Your continued use of the site constitutes agreement with these terms.   The Most Advanced Vascular Training Models Embodi3D has created a line of super-accurate 3D printed vascular models for physician and medical professional advanced training. Created by a board-certified physician who performs vascular procedures daily, these models were created for maximum procedural realism while being more practical and less expensive than conventional animal labs or silicone tube models. Physician specialists who utilize these models include vascular surgeons, cardiologists, and radiologists.   Dr. Mike will be at the Society of Interventional Radiology meeting beginning tomorrow in Vancouver. He will demonstrate the use of these models in a variety of endovascular procedures. Participate in the embodi3D.com Community We invite you to participate in the embodi3d.com community. Did you know members are eligible to write blog articles? In addition to uploading files and posting in our forums, members can publish articles on our blog. If you are interested in blogging, simply reply to this email. Thanks for reading and let us know if there are any topics you would like us to cover in future newsletters.   Wishing You Much Success!
The Embodi3D Team

embodi3d

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Advanced 3D Printed IVC Filter and Arterial Vascular Training Models

The Most Advanced Vascular Training Models for Physicians   Embodi3D has created a line of super-accurate 3D printed vascular models for physician and medical professional advanced training. Created by a board-certified physician who performs vascular procedures daily, these models were created for maximum procedural realism while being more practical and less expensive than conventional animal labs or silicone tube models. Physician specialists who utilize these models include vascular surgeons, cardiologists, and radiologists. Numerous medical device companies use these models to teach and demonstrate their devices under realistic circumstances. Hospitals and medical schools use them to teach residents, fellows and medical students how to perform vascular procedures.   To view our full product catalog with updated information please see the Vascular Training Models page. You will learn about the models shown on this page and many more.   If you are interested in these training models, please Contact us.   IVC Filter - Whole Body Venous Training Model The whole body venous medical training model includes all the major venous structures in the human body from the right jugular vein of the neck to the right and left common femoral veins at the level of the hips. The whole body venous model allows for the education and training in a variety of IVC filter related procedures. The model was created from a real CT scan so the vessel positions, diameters, and angles are all real. Entry points are present at the right jugular vein and brachiocephalic vein for upper body access, and the bilateral common femoral veins for lower body access. Attachments are present to make placement of a real vascular sheath easy.   The model can be used to teach or practice the following procedures: IVC filter placement, jugular or femoral approach Common iliac filter placement, jugular or femoral approach IVC filter retrieval Venous stenting IVC and iliac vein thrombectomy or thrombolysis Venous embolization Hepatic vein cannulation
The model can be used to illustrate specific devices for the procedures listed above and is used by medical device companies to demonstrate and teach the use of their products. The IVC model comes in a portable carrying case and is easily transportable. It assembles and disassembles in less than 20 seconds.    
Caption: An attendee of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting deploying an IVC filter in the IVC filter training model. Models are commonly used at medical trade shows to allow attendees to quickly get hands-on experience with medical equipment.         If you are interested in the IVC Filter - whole body venous training model, please contact us.   Abdomen and Pelvis Arterial Embolization and Stenting Medical Model The abdomen and pelvis embolization and stenting model has detailed arterial anatomy generated from a real CT scan, so the exact vessel shapes, diameters, and angles are all real. Numerous detailed vessel branches are included for maximum realism and for practicing extremely fine catheterization. For example, the right, middle, and left hepatic arteries are included, which are only accessible after four levels of branching (Aorta -> Celiac artery -> Common hepatic artery -> Proper hepatic artery -> Right, middle, and left hepatic arteries). Vascular sheath attachment points are present at the right and left common femoral arteries, as they would be during a real procedure. This provides an unparalleled level of realism for training in an in vitro model. It is a revolutionary training tool for interventional radiologists, cardiologists, and vascular surgeons. It is commonly used at professional training sessions, trade shows and conventions, in-hospital training sessions, and at medical schools for teaching residents and fellows. Medical device companies use the model to demonstrate and teach the use of their microcatheter, wire, and embolization products to physicians.     This medical model can be used to teach or practice the following procedures: Aneurysm embolization Stent assisted embolization Balloon assisted embolization Splenic artery embolization Gastroduodenal artery embolization Yttrium-90 radioembolization mapping Yttrium-90 radioembolization treatment Hepatic chemoembolization Angiography for G.I. bleeding Renal artery angiography Renal artery stenting Pelvic angiography and embolization for trauma Internal iliac artery embolization Internal iliac artery stent-grafting Abdominal aorta stent-grafting  
Arteries Included: Abdominal aorta Common iliac arteries Internal and external iliac arteries Common femoral arteries Celiac artery and branches Splenic artery Left gastric artery Common hepatic artery, left, middle, and right hepatic arteries Gastroduodenal artery Superior mesenteric artery and branches Inferior mesenteric artery and branches Renal arteries
Aneurysms included: Splenic artery, proximal, 25 mm berry aneurysm, 10 mm neck Splenic artery, distal, 20 mm berry aneurysm, 7.5 mm neck Right renal, 10 mm berry aneurysm, 8 mm neck Left renal, inferior, 5 mm berry aneurysm, 3.5 mm neck Left iliac artery, fusiform aneurysm, 33 mm x 23 mm
Arterial Stenoses: Left renal, accessory branch, stenosis, 2mm  
The model assembles and disassembles in less than 20 seconds. It comes with its own durable and customized carrying case for safe and easy transport   Thank you for your interest in Embodi3D's advanced vascular training models. If you have any additional questions about our existing training models, or are interested in having us create a new training model for your special need, please contact us.

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“Miracle Kitten” Becomes Next Prospective Patient for Custom 3D-Printed Implants

Cassidy, a tuxedo kitten with a white mustache and socks, lost his hind limbs from below the knee at birth. When he was found starving after nine weeks, his wounds infected with E. coli, the emergency vet recommended euthanasia. But Shelly Roche refused to give up on him. She runs the TinyKittens rescue operated out of Fort Langley, B.C., Canada, that specializes in lost causes. She nursed him back to health, with the Internet cheering him on.   This video shows Cassidy walking with a leash and harness to hold up his rear end, then getting a little wheelchair and finally running around and bounding off his rear leg stumps.   Cassidy as a young kitten trying his 3D printed wheelchair. Photo credit: CatChannel.com  Two local high school students made him a wheelchair using their school’s 3D printer. This was not the last time 3D printing would help Cassidy. Handicapped Pets Canada also provided one that he used up until recently. Now that Cassidy has outgrown his wheelchairs, he gets around riding Roche’s Roomba.
  But the Roomba is only a temporary solution. Cassidy is being fitted for prosthetic leg extensions. Last week, in the first step toward receiving prosthetics, Cassidy got Botox injections to relax the muscles of his rear legs, for ongoing physical therapy.   Roche said of Cassidy’s prosthetics, "I'm not sure if they use titanium or carbon fiber. I'm not sure what the end-point will be. I tell people he's going to get fancy new bionic legs."   That will be up to Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little and the team at North Carolina State University working on Cassidy’s prosthetics. Marcellin-Little is an expert in custom prosthetics and physical therapy. Like a real-life Dr. House for dogs and cats, Dr. Marcellin-Little gets the most challenging cases, where existing methods cannot provide treatment, so he and an international team of collaborators develop new ones.   The process for building a custom implant starts with a CT scan. Then, 3D-printed models of bones may be made. Marcellin-Little has over a decade-long collaboration with Dr. Ola Harrysson of the department of Industrial Systems and Engineering building implants. Marcellin-Little and Harrysson have invented a technique called osseointegration, where a titanium implant gets attached directly to bone via a honeycombed surface the bone grows to fill. The implant itself is made using a type of metal 3D printing called electron beam melting (EBM) where titanium powder is melted in successive layers to make the object.   Several news articles have mentioned the cost of Cassidy’s care. $10,000 has been spent on Cassidy already. The implant procedures can cost up to $20,000 per leg.   The procedure does not only benefit a single animal. Marcellin-Little talks of translating the technique to human patients “All the progress we make in free-form fabrication very quickly gets translated to human prosthetic research. Free-form transdermal osseointegration will cross over at some point to human patients.”
 

Supervet Discusses the Ethics of 3D Printing Technology for Veterinary Medicine

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick is one of the most prominent doctors of veterinary medicine in the UK. Featured on the show The Supervet on Channel 4, Fitzpatrick performs live-saving operations for people’s beloved pets, often making use of advanced technologies like 3D printing in his procedures.   Despite his skills, Fitzpatrick says whether or not to keep animals alive is a moral decision, more than a scientific assessment. He says that 3D printing and other technological advancements have made it so he can cure nearly any pet’s ailment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he should.   Fitzpatrick told recently that he and other vets have an obligation to focus on the value their services bring to the pet’s future quality of life before deciding to subject them to invasive surgeries.   His veterinary practice located in Surrey has been among the first to use advanced medical techniques such as creating bionic legs for people’s pets.   He also said that no matter how much money he might receive by performing complex operations, he takes the time to consider which outcome will be best for the animal before agreeing to do it.

He said, “The bottom line now is that anything is possible, if you have a blood and nerve supply.”  “That means that we now have a line in the sand: not what is ‘possible’ but what is ‘right.’ In the past it was just the case of if it wasn't possible, you'd move to euthanasia.”   Dr. Fitzpatrick said ever since he began using 3D printed joints with living tissue as part of his procedures, he spends every day walking a moral tightrope.   At the same time, he thinks animals are very deserving of the most modern medical technologies, given the role they played in drug and medical testing for human medicine historically.   “They've given us all their lives for research, quite simply it's time to give something back.”   The Supervet is returning to TV with a new series featuring Dr. Fitzpatrick’s treatment of Jersey, the first three-legged cat to ever have a hip replacement.   Jersey lost a leg after being hit by a car. Fitzpatrick needed to create a new hip that moved in a unique way so she could balance on three legs alone.   He said, “It was a sweet cat. She had a slipping kneecap and really severe hip arthritis. Most cats can manage three legs but this one couldn’t."

Jersey’s medications weren’t helping her, which is why her owner wanted to pursue a compete hip replacement.  Dr. Fitzpatrick said, “It would have been easy to put her to sleep. Was that the right choice? The other options for pain control were suboptimal. But it worked.”   Jersey’s story is just one of many unique cases featured on The Supervet, often involving novel medical solutions with the help of 3D printing.   Image Credits: DailyMail, Supervet

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