Creating realistic models as surgical guides for planning complex medical procedures is one of the most life-changing applications of 3D printing. One of the greatest proponents of 3D printed biomedical models is the Centre for Biomedical Technology Integration (CBMTI), affiliated with the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Models created on CMBTI’s Objet500 Connex multi-material and Objet Eden350 3D Printers begin as 2D data from CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging. The data are converted using specialized software; the resulting files are then 3D printed to convey precise biological information that aids the surgeons attending each individual patient.
CBMTI models created are also used for teaching in three dimensions. The multi-material capabilities of the Objet Connex are prized for university research projects as well. “Creating custom medical implants used to be an extensive and painstaking process. To closely mimic human organs, the process can sometimes take up to a few weeks, which proved to be a slow and costly method,” explains Yuwaraj Kumar Balakrishnan, Operations Manager of CBMTI. “Stratasys 3D printers are the ideal platform for innovation. We have gone from molding titanium plates for cranial implants to being able to create biomodels with pathology from actual patient imaging data.”
CBMTI finds their Objet Eden350 3D Printer especially useful for creating guides during surgery to ensure correct placements of items such as stents.