Biomedical 3D printing is used immensely in medical science. Recently, a team of cancer researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research in London were able to use 3D printing to create customized models of cancer cells of the human body. Led by Dr. Glenn Flux, they were able to create 3D printed models to help doctors fine-tune their dosing.
Also called “phantoms”, the 3D printed replicas of organ and tumors are made by first creating a CT scan of the target organs of patients who will undergo the treatment. The plastic molds are then filled with liquid which allows doctors to determine the flow of the radiopharmaceuticals or cancer drug within the body.
Preliminary studies concerning the molds created by biomedical 3D printing technology indicated that it was able to map the position of the tumor inside the patient’s body. Researchers were also able to calculate the dose of radiation more accurately for each patient.
The replicas were created using plastic and printed by the Department of Physics at ICR. Thanks to 3D medical printing, researchers are now able to streamline the process of printing accurate organ replicas compared to previous conventional and manual construction.
The models used different types of cancer including thyroid, neuroblastoma and bone metastases. With the availability of biomedical 3D printing, it was able to fix the issues about creating anatomically accurate replicas that can help monitor the dose of radiation that patients receive during their treatment. This is definitely good news to both cancer research and cancer patients.