Japanese Doctors Use 3D Printers to Make Organs
We can all a agree that 3D printers are awesome, the fact that technology is now available for the average person to "print" actual real world objects is mind blowing. Advances in the field and a decrease in the cost of production has resulted in more wide spread use of these machines. The Kobe University Hospital has displayed some groundbreaking medical applications.
Models of 3D printed human organs are being used to in the preparation for surgery. These replicated organs are printed using two materials, the substance on the outer layer is transparent allowing the doctors to see structures within the organ. This form of multi-material 3D printing aids with the decision making process before surgery. "The use of such biological models drastically improves the accuracy of operation, for example, it becomes possible to simulate a procedure before actually treating an organ.", said Maki Sugimoto, an instructor at Kobe University.
To make these models, the hospital used the "Objet260 Connex" which was first announced here in Japan. According to Managing Director of Objet Mr. Gilad Yron, "Its small size and high shaping accuracy meet the needs of Japanese engineers". The company has been involved in other medical projects such as the design of affordable braces for children with clubbed feet in Third World countries.
Below is a video of the Objet260 Connex in action. Pretty amazing stuff.