page infoName Orgamedi Date19-01-15 10:02 Hit1,858 Comment0
Korea University Guro Hospital (KUGH) and the Korea National University of Transportation’s (KNUT) 3D Printing Chungbuk Center have launched a program which seeks to use additive manufacturing to aid patients with fractures.
Initiated by South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT(MSIT), the program aims to provide surgeons with patient-specific 3D printed anatomical models. Such models will address complications experienced after fracture surgery with minimally invasive surgeries. Professor Oh Jong-gun of the department of orthopedics at KUGH explained:
“The deformation of the bone often leads to complications in fracture surgery patients due to repeated surgery and the fracture site [i.e.,] nonunion and malunion. This makes operation very difficult as the conventional anatomical plate does not fit the complication.”
“HOWEVER, THE TEAM HAS FOUND [THAT] 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY CAN PROVIDE A BREAKTHROUGH SOLUTION FOR THE TREATMENT FOR SUCH FRACTURE COMPLICATIONS.”
Treating fractures with 3D printing
Injured bones may heal by with a cast, however, severe fractures require more invasive treatments, such as bone fracture repair surgery, which uses metal screws, pins, rods, or plates to hold the bone in place.
According to Professor Oh Jong-gun, “patients who had complications after fracture surgery have had a hard time using existing metal plates, as it did not perfectly match their injury.”
“SUCH ISSUES LED THE SURGEONS TO BEND THE METAL PLATE BY HAND DURING OPERATIONS, WHICH INCREASED OPERATION TIME AND RESULTED IN RE-OPERATION IN SOME CASES.”
The KNUT will support the KUGH in 3D printing anatomical models of a patient’s bones based on the individual’s CT and MRI image data. This process will enable surgeons to form contours in the metal plates in advance to fit the patient’s bone shape.
2D and 3D images of bones are usually all the resources surgeons have to perform a procedure. With 3D printing, the medical professional can simulate the process beforehand with physical models, and use them as templates throughout.
Ultimately, the institutions hope to increase minimally invasive operations with significantly reduced operation time.
The Korea University Guro Hospital (KUGH). Photo via KUGH.
South Korea accelerate additive manufacturing
The Government institution MSIT is centered on the overall adoption of 4th Industrial Revolution technologies within Asia. Previously, the MSIT invested $5.7 million the Electronics Telecommunications and Research Institute (ETRI) who is developing a 3D scanning smartphone application.
Following this, the MSIT announced it would be spending 41.2 billion won(Approx. $37 million USD) of 2017’s annual budget to encourage the development of 3D printing across the nation.
The 3D hologram developed by ETRI researchers. Photo via Engadget.