3D printing technology allows a real revolution in many areas. Among them, medicine and more specifically surgery where the improvement of 3D printed models finally allows realistic training for surgeons.
Those responsible for modeling and printing 3D organs are constantly looking to improve models that do not exhibit the texture and reactions of « real » organs even though they have a perfect structure. These manufacturers now use soft, viscous and spongy materials to reproduce the organs as realistically as possible in order to allow novice or experienced surgeons to train for complex operations in the most relevant way possible.
This is particularly the case for the project Simulated Inanimate Model for a Physical Learning Experience (SIMPLE) from the University of Rochester which uses hydrogel injected into a 3D model. In particular, this makes it possible to obtain an organ that “bleeds” when an incision is made on it, Motherboard teaches us.
» Until today, no simulation of surgical operation allowed to train in real conditions from the beginning to the end of the procedure. says Dr. Ahmed Ghazi, an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Urology. » So we created a model that looks and feels the same as a real organ and moves realistically when manipulated. Thanks to him, students and surgeons have the feeling of working on the body of a real patient “, he adds.
This training is very important for surgeons, because it allows to improve dexterity, technique or to test a new method on routine operations, but also allows more complex things. For example, training before operating on a patient whose organs, bones or nerves are malformed in order to define the best operating technique option.
» Surgeons are like pilots,” says Dr. Ahmed Ghazi. » For each, it is necessary to go through the stage which consists in taking off a 747, alone, for the first time. For a surgeon, performing an operation from A to Z in complete autonomy is also a must. Pilots prepare using flight simulators, but surgeons had no valid simulation system until then. »