Aether, a company known to manufacture revolutionary 3D printers announced that it is about to launch an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered medical imaging software. This imaging software is poised to dramatically advance the development of 3D organ printing technology.
Apart from announcing the launch of its new software, Aether also announced its collaboration with Jang Laboratory to develop advanced biomaterials and biotechnologies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School to pursue creation of a completely integrated organ printing system. The software will also be tested at Jang Laboratory before being released for public use.
Aether’s new software enables automatic segmentation of organs and tissues. It also facilitates simple conversion to single or multi-material printable 3D files. It works on what Aether calls is new Automatic Segmentation and Reconstruction (ASAR) process, which utilises adaptable deep learning models, dynamically combined with an array of AI and image processing techniques.
The ASAR process makes it easier for users to segment organs and tissues, and reconstruct them as digital 3D models. These 3D models can then be directly used for fabrication, analysis and other applications using a 3D bioprinter such as the Aether 1. Aether also unveiled an incredible first look demonstration video, which displays the ASAR process for lungs with vasculature. The video below offers a glimpse at the entire process from medical image to “ready to print” file.
The main essence of the software is that it can help 3D bioprinting reach its full potential. 3D Bioprinting refers to three-dimensional printing of artificial tissues in an additive layer-by-layer process. The printing material is developed from existing cellular building blocks or bio-inks. These bio-inks can be developed using even a patient’s own cells and tissues. This bio-ink is then printed in a layer-by-layer process in a bio-inert hydrogel which acts as a support and as a filler for void spaces to accurately mimic the feature of tissues thereby enabling the 3D printing of an entire organ.
Speaking about how AI can help 3D bioprinting reach its full potential, Ryan Franks, CEO of Aether said, “It’s great that we can say Aether 1 is the only all-in-one 3D bioprinter with the multi-tool capabilities and automation required for organ printing, but the truth is a big piece was still missing from the puzzle. Once we learned AI is the only way bioprinting can reach its full potential, we set out to develop software that would bridge the gap between science-fiction and reality. Aether’s medical imaging AI will be a quantum leap forward, so we can’t wait to get this software out there and experience the impact it has on the medical field.”
Aether has successfully segmented multiple organ types with a high level of accuracy across a wide range of CT scan datasets, and plans to extend this capability to virtually all organ and tissue types, across all major modalities, such as MRI, X-ray, and angiogram.
Aether’s AI-powered 3D bioprinting platform will enable hospitals to have on-site organ fabrication systems. These systems can be used to create exact replicas of patient anatomy at the push of a button.
The accurate replicas of patient anatomy made from ultra-realistic synthetic human tissue, bone, fat, vasculature and blood will allow surgeons to practice for significant surgical procedures thereby decreasing surgical errors.
How the Software will Advance 3D Organ Printing?
However, the main benefit of the software will be for the development of 3D printed organs. For example, when 3D organ printing becomes a viable option, a similar process can be followed; the only difference is that synthetic materials will be replaced by bio-inks seeded with the patient’s own cells. This will help the creation of 3D printed organs on-demand, which in turn can greatly help in eliminating the risk of rejection and transplant waiting lists.
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