Medical Imaging with 3D Printing for Visualizing Complex Structures
By MedTech Outlook | Monday, February 18, 2019
3D printing offers plenty of opportunities in the healthcare industry, and the market for 3D printing in healthcare is rapidly growing. 3D printing is a powerful tool for the precise production of dosage forms and disease modeling. The healthcare sector is expected to be the fastest growing segment in the 3D printing market, as innovations are integrated into specialism such as orthopedics and implants.
The Materialise Mimics inPrint Certification Program brings together validated hardware solutions with the first 3D printing software cleared by the FDA for clinical operations. Medical laboratories using this new approach to the production of patient-specific medical models validated for diagnostic use gain a streamlined approach.
Data from patient scans can be imported into Mimics inPrint and converted to a printable 3D model. This model can then be used with the new program to print a precise 3D model on a validated 3D printer, allowing the medical team to examine the exact anatomy in question closely and personally.
3D printing makes it easier for manufacturers of prosthetics and implants to create solutions with the right dimensions, with a complex design, and at a lower cost. Medical imagery using 2D or 3D onscreen technology limits the visualization of complex pathologies and abnormalities by radiologists and surgeons.
Both radiology teams and surgeons are increasingly using 3D printing to create 3D 1:1 model of anatomical areas, which can be replicated exactly from patient scans and used for preoperative cutting, planning, and collaboration. They are also used in surgical education to allow medical students and junior doctors to see tumors, fractures, lesions, and other abnormalities accurately. These also become a means of rapidly implementing surgical models in the patient’s medical image, enabling surgeons to limit errors before surgery. These anatomical models printed in 3D can also be presented to the patient before the operation so that all steps of the process are visualized in order to improve the relationship between the practitioner and the patient.