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Czech Researchers Use 3D Printing to Create Fully Functional Lung Model

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brnoOften when we are sick or injured and seeking treatment from a medical professional, we do not consider all the background that actually goes into surgeries and the overall healing—much less the training that came before. Today, you might consider the impact that 3D printing is having on the medical field. Not only is bioprinting becoming a major focus in research labs around the world as research teams create 3D printed cellular structures, from that of the kidneys to the liver, but 3D printed medical models themselves are becoming more and more complex. And this is good for you if you are the patient.

3D printed models for training and exploration mean that when it comes to examining your particular health condition or preparing for surgery, both students and surgeons have been able to spend as much time as necessary in prepping. They may be able to use 3D printed models to examine tumors they’ve never seen before in a variety of places, confer on the best treatment and diagnosis, and then even use the models as surgical guides.

A model of a functioning human lung that can be used to simulate chronic diseases and their treatments is seen in the Brno University of Technology in Brno, Czech Republic, November 22, 2016. Picture taken November 22, 2016. REUTERS/David W Cerny

[Image: REUTERS/David W Cerny]

These 3D printed models also function as excellent educational devices for patients themselves as well as their families—and are certainly the subject of much curiosity and fascination due to the novelty and that they can see a model that is so patient-specific. The uses are nearly infinite for 3D printed models as they can allow for jabbing, cutting, manipulating, and in the area of bioprinting, much testing that can be eliminated on both animals and people.

Scientist Frantisek Lizal looks at a model of a functioning human lung that can be used to simulate chronic diseases and their treatments in the Brno University of Technology in Brno, Czech Republic, November 22, 2016. Picture taken November 22, 2016. REUTERS/David W Cerny

[Image: REUTERS/David W Cerny]

Now, scientists in the Czech Republic have used 3D printing and other technologies to make a human lung that is functioning. While it will offer many uses that should be beneficial to humankind, some of the prime areas it will be helpful are in simulating issues such as asthma and other breathing problems, along with other very serious and chronic diseases.

Not only will they be able to study the lungs and these often accompanying health issues in great detail, but it’s hoped that they may be able to test treatments and medications as well. Anyone who has ever experienced breathing problems or watched a loved one or friend experiencing such a thing should be in strong support of this innovative lung system that will be used as a prime reference model for creating inhaled drugs—often used in the treatment of asthma and other conditions that cause breathing challenges.

“This model will show whether an inhaled drug will settle in the concrete areas where we need it to,” said Miroslav Jicha, the head of the research team.

Hailing from the Brno University of Technology, this research team created the functioning lung with complex mechanical parts as well as a computer based model. They are able to experiment with and create numerous new treatment methods. Best of all, this allows for integration into the future of medicine, with patient-specific treatments. With three patents already received for its modeling, the researchers see it the lung as having the potential to become the standard for testing in Europe. Discuss in the 3D Printed Lung Model forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source / Images: Reuters]

 

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