AMS Spring 2023

UMC Utrecht, MRIguidance, Axial3D Receive Funding from European Eurostars to 3D Print Orthopedic Models

6K SmarTech

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University Medical Center Utrecht is working with two European startups in the development of an end-to-end solution for radiation-free pre-operative planning in orthopedics.

With a grant from European Eurostars, MRIguidance and Axial3D will be collaborating on the project to create accurate 3D printed medical models. The team will rely on imaging software from MRIguidance, the 3D printing expertise of Axial3D, and clinical validation at UMC Utrecht.

Ultimately, the goal of this research and development is to decrease the amount of time surgeons spend in the operating room—and increase success in clinical outcomes. 3D printed anatomical models, allowing surgeons much better preparation and training time, also often mean less blood loss during surgery, less risk of infection, and a lower chance of other associated complications.

Previously, 3D printing of such medical models meant to display bony pathologies has required exposure to ‘harmful radiation’ during the imaging process. Not only that, but the process of creating the models has been prohibitively arduous and inefficient for workflow. With this new project, the team is striving to overcome past obstacles and create 3D printed models that truly lead to patient-specific care in orthopedic treatment.

And while the trio expects this particular project to be ‘game-changing,’ surgeons around the world are currently experiencing the benefits of 3D printed models that can be used from the beginning of the process in diagnosis and treatment, to educating the patient and their family.

For training purposes, medical students are also availed of the luxury of learning about a range of diseases and may be exposed to the intricacies of medical procedures that are rarely performed—or perhaps never before. The surgeon is also able to study the model throughout the process, taking as many hours as needed to train, and then also using the model in the operating room as a guide.

On the left, the BoneMRI image, source image for 3D printed models. On the right the standard MRI image visualizing soft tissue.

“Our BoneMRI imaging technology visualizes bone with an MRI scan,” said Roel Raatgever, CEO of MRIguidance. “These images can serve as source images to develop the 3D printed models. I am very happy with our collaboration with Axial3D and UMC Utrecht. We form a strong and complementary team that can bring this project to a success.”

“It’s with great pleasure that we announce our partnership with UMC Utrecht and MRIguidance,” said Niall Haslam, CTO of Axial3D. “The collaboration between our organizations aims to deliver an improved patient experience while giving surgeons access to game-changing medical imaging for extremely complex orthopedic cases.”

3D printing plays a continually expanding role in pre-operative applications such as treating fractures, offering pre-operative education for patients, management of complex cases, and more.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: axial3D]

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