Printed Organs in 3D to Guide The Knife of The Surgeon

Maki Sugimoto is a surgeon at the University Hospital in Kobe. Recently, he and his team faced a particularly sensitive case in which a donor adult liver should adapt to be transplanted into one patient.

The main problem was that it had to cut the body to adapt to the smaller size of the patient cavity without sectioning major blood vessels. For guidance, Sugimoto devised a rare procedure: print a three-dimensional replica the liver using a 3D printer.

New diagnostic technologies such as 3D tomography They offer very reliable three-dimensional models on the inside of our body. Sugimoto departed that base to play the blood vessels of the body in a type of resin, and the rest of the fabric in a soft and translucent compound.

The result was a faithful reproduction, although in ghostly appearance of the organ in which the doctor can plan in detail cuts to carry out without fear to be wrong. The operation was carried out successfully.

A technology on the rise

The 3D printing It is a technology that is becoming popular among physicians. So far most of the models were templates of bones for maxillofacial surgery or bone reconstructions, but Sugimoto initiative goes beyond allowing surgeons working with real models coping with more guarantees delicate operations.

Printers capable of making copies of organs are still very expensive for hospitals and small medical centers. In addition technical knowledge is required to manage the printer. That is why in Japan they are beginning to proliferate external companies He carried out this work at the request of doctors with three-dimensional models that they send them.

Dr. Sugimoto points to the future will pass by print directly functional bodies from the patient’s own stem cells, but while that future arrives, models in resin printing is of great help in medicine.