Mainz - Doctors use models of human body parts from the 3D printer to better plan operations and adapt transplants more precisely. Computed tomography, X-ray or MRI provided the templates for exact patient-specific models from the 3D printer, according to the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.
For jaw reconstruction, for example, the 3D printer first prints model of the jaw and fibula. The surgeon uses piece of the fibula to close the gap in the jaw. The practitioner can play through the operation in detail in advance on the model. This enables the intervention to be planned individually.
During the operation, the surgeon can implement this planning on the patient using templates . This also has advantages in terms of time: the Mainz maxillofacial surgeons report that they can plan defect reconstruction within four days using their own, newly acquired 3D printer. Up to now, they have usually needed several weeks for this due to the cooperation with external companies.
Scientifically interesting, the 3D printing technology is also interesting for the field of regenerative medicine, report the Mainz scientists. A central question is: How do tissues and cells interact with exogenous materials and surfaces? The interaction of artificial implants with the human body is still major challenge for almost all surgical disciplines.
As part of the research focus "BiomaTiCS -Biomaterials, Tissues and Cells in Science", clinically and scientifically active surgeons conduct research together with materials scientists from the Max Planck -Institute for Polymer Research, the Institute for Applied Structure and Microanalysis and the Institute for Physiological Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry, the application-oriented functional use, tissue regeneration and responsive systems, it says from Mainz.
"Here we succeed in bridging the gap between Research and application: On the one hand, the 3D printer enables us to plan short-term and precise reconstruction plans for our patients with maxillofacial disease. On the other hand, he is the link to other BiomaTiCS working groups in the endeavor to create innovative building materials for implantations and reconstructions, ”explains Bilal Al-Nawas, spokesman for the research focus“ BiomaTiCS -Biomaterials, Tissues and Cells in Science ”at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz .