The LaGuardia Studio at New York University (NYU), a 3D printing studio, offers students, faculty, alumni, researchers, and visiting artists the chance to take advantage of cross-discipline curricula when creating innovative designs. Services include 3D scanning and 3D printing, and the greater university community has created all sorts of interesting projects, like a komodo dragon model, prosthetics, a recreation of a 16th century Polyglot Bible, and 3D printed tumor models. This last is the subject of an ongoing two-year clinical trial between a Biomedical Imaging PhD candidate and Stratasys.
Andrew Buckland, technical lead and expert in residence at the LaGuardia Studio, said, “Here at the LaGuardia studio, we deal with a range of clients.”
“What gets me personally excited in the realm of 3D printing are the people who are pushing the limits. It’s the people looking for the cutting edge in 3D printing, not the people who just want to make a product because they can in 3D.”
Nicole Wake is working to earn her PhD at the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at the NYU School of Medicine (NYUSOM). She visits the LaGuardia Studio to utilize its Stratasys J750 3D printer for a collaborative project with NYU’s urology department that will hopefully establish a better standard of patient care.
Wake explained, “Together we started a new, collaborative project combining radiology and urology for 3D printed kidney and prostate tumor models.”
The full color, multi-material J750, which was introduced by Stratasys last spring at the OtterBox headquarters, has been used to make all sorts of innovative things, like smartphone cases, a glass sculpture artifact, colorful eyewear, and neurosurgery training simulators. Wake is using it to create patient-specific, color-coded, 3D printed kidney and prostate models. She is working with physicians to personalize the models for patients with tumors in these organs.
“This is something that’s completely new for the surgeons. These are actual patient models and we can use the models for pre-surgical planning or intra-operative guidance,” Wake said.
“You can be the best surgeon in the world, but still having a 3D model is very useful. It provides guidance and allows for a more successful comprehensive surgery. The surgeons I work with tell me that planning with a 3D model saves time in the operating room, which ultimately improves patient outcomes.”
“The 3D models help explain the disease to the patient, which is really helpful, because patients don’t typically understand how to interpret radiological images,” Wake said. “Having a model to show the patient their cancerous structure or lesion, and the organ itself along with the surgical plan, is very helpful for all involved. We can also use the 3D models to teach our medical students and residents about patient-specific anatomy and pathology.”
Wake is now working with Stratasys on a clinical trial to research how these full color, multi-material 3D printed models will be able to improve patient care. As part of a randomized prospective study at NYUSOM, she will be using the Stratasys J750 to print patient-specific models of kidney and prostate tumors for 100 patients, and then measure the impact the 3D printed models will have in terms of pre-surgical planning, as opposed to using traditional 2D models to prepare.
She hopes that by using her 3D printed medical models, surgeons will be able to “lay the groundwork for a new standard of patient care.”
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts below.[Source/Images: Stratasys]