UK researchers develop 3D-printed spine models for surgical training: 5 notes

Written by Shayna Korol | November 13, 2018 | Print  |

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the U.K. are 3D-printing spine models for surgical training, 3Ders.org reports.

Here are five things to know:

1. The 3D-printed vertebrae models are mostly comprised of polylactic acid and binding agent and coated in polyester. They are designed to allow trainee surgeons to practice procedures such as laminectomies.

2. Not all the 3D-printed parts are made from PLA. The inside pieces are made from polyurethane while intervertebral discs are made from silicone.

3. Researchers hope to adjust the porosity or use different materials to make 3D-printed bones of variable strength to produce osteoporosis-affected replicas.

4. Joseph Meeks, a medical product design postgraduate student at Nottingham Trent, developed the 3D-printing technology.

5. In 2016, Nottingham Trent researchers created a 3D-printed replica of a human body, which allowed technicians to pump blood through the 3D-printed organs.

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