4D Printing and Computed Tomography Scans Used to Enhance Surgical Preparation

RAPID

Share this Article

downloadEarlier this month, thousands of surgeons from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Royal College of Surgeons of England gathered into the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre for the Annual Scientific Congress, an event centered around a series of workshops, discussions, plenaries, and master classes that cover a wide-range of surgical topics based on the current state of medical field. One of these discussions was focused on a case study that recently researched the use of dynamic 4D printing for preoperative planning in hand surgery.

Headed by Dr. Michael Chae, a plastic surgery resident and PhD candidate at the Melbourne, Australia-based Monash University, the research team explained how implementing the dimension of time into 3D printed haptic models helps provide improved anatomical information about the movement of the bones in a hand. The research team used 4D computed tomography (CT) to scan the bones within a patient’s hand, which helped portray an accurate representation of their hand movements during thumb abduction, opposition, and key pinch.

“Over the past decade 3D printing has transformed the way surgeons conduct preoperative planning. Here we were able to explore the application of 4D printing in surgical planning,” Dr. Chae said. “We demonstrated how 4D printing can accurately depict the translation of metacarpals during various thumb movements. With the the increasing availability of 4D CT scanners, 4D printing has the potential to become widely accessible for surgical planning and improve clinical outcomes for patients.”

3D printed haptic models representing carpal and metacarpal bones during various hand movements: abduction (left), opposition (center), and key pinch (right)

3D printed haptic models representing carpal and metacarpal bones during various hand movements: abduction (left), opposition (center), and key pinch (right)

The research team utilized a 320 multidetector row Aquilion One CT scanner from Toshiba America Medical Systems, which captured the patient performing three different thumb movements, all of which were uploaded into OsiriX software, where the images were rendered and prepared for 3D printing. After exporting these 3D haptic models into .STL files and uploading them to Cubify, the research team printed the models using a Cube 2 desktop 3D printer by 3D Systems. In order to validate their research, Dr. Chae and his colleagues compared the angle between the first and the second metacarpals from the 4D CT data and the 4D printed model, which helped ensure anatomical accuracy.

Process from CT scan data to Cubify software

Process from CT scan data to Cubify software

The case study, which is entitled “Four-Dimensional (4D) Printing: A New Evolution in Computed Tomography-Guided Stereolithographic Modeling. Principles and Application”, was published last year in the Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery. Along with Dr. Chae, the case study was supervised and co-authored by professor David Hunter-Smith, Dr. Inoka De-Silva, Stephen Tham, Robert Spychal, and Warren Rozen.

Essentially, the research team has demonstrated the value of adding the “fourth dimension of time” into 3D printed surgical models, which in this case helped to showcase the transition in the position of metacarpals during thumb movement. These 4D printed models offer a more dynamic and fluid look into the patient’s anatomy, which will help surgeons obtain accurate and detailed patient-specific information prior to intensive surgical operations.

In other recent applications, 4D printing has been used to print with enhanced composite materials, and has also been a major tool for biomimetic printing research as well. By utilizing the 4D printing technique detailed in Dr. Chae’s research, which offers more complex spatiotemporal anatomical details in models, surgeons can greatly enhance preoperative planning. Their case study concludes that, in the near future, as 4D CT scanners become more readily available, 4D printing will help provide superior patient-specific anatomical information, which in turn will greatly improve clinical outcomes. Discuss this new technology further in the 4D Printed Surgical Models forum over at 3DPB.com.

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: June 23, 2024

3D Printing News Briefs, June 22, 2024: Depowdering, Helicopter Cockpit, & More



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Featured

Bugatti Leverages Divergent to 3D Print Chassis and Suspension Parts for Tourbillon Hypercar

Divergent, the digitized contract manufacturer based in Los Angeles, has partnered with French luxury automaker Bugatti for the latter’s upcoming Tourbillon hypercar. Via the collaboration, Divergent will use the Divergent...

3D Systems Bets on Pellet-Extrusion as the Future of 3D Printing with EXT 800 Titan

US additive manufacturing (AM) industry pioneer 3D Systems has announced its latest product release, the EXT 800 Titan Pellet. The third member in the EXT Titan Pellet lineup, the 800...

Aibuild to Launch Version 2.0 3D Printing Software at RAPID + TCT 2024

Aibuild, the London-based software as a service (SaaS) company specializing in solutions for large format additive manufacturing (AM), will roll out Aibuild 2.0, the latest version of its cloud-based software...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: June 16, 2024

In this week’s roundup, we’ve got plenty of in-person 3D printing events, including PowderMet2024, Manufacturing World Tokyo, and a few Demo Days and tours. Stratasys continues its advanced training courses,...