Designed to replicate the feel, responsiveness, and biomechanics of human anatomy in medical models, the new 3D printer will soon make the use of cadavers or animals for medical training and surgical preparation obsolete
Stratasys Ltd., one of the largest additive manufacturing companies in the world announced that it has introduced a new J750™ Digital Anatomy™ 3D Printer designed to replicate the feel, responsiveness, and biomechanics of human anatomy in medical models. Extending Stratasys’ commitment to the medical industry, the new system improves surgical preparedness and training while helping bring new medical devices to market faster.
Today, medical professionals have a choice of cadavers, animal, traditional, or virtual reality models which all have significant limitations. For example, animal models can only approximate human anatomy and may raise ethical concerns whereas cadaver models cannot retain live-tissue feel and require a controlled environment. However, the Digital Anatomy 3D Printer recreates actual tissue response – and can be used anywhere without specialized facilities. It also lets users focus on specific pathologies.
Speaking about the newest introduction and how the new system gives surgeons a more realistic training environment, Eyal Miller, Head at Stratasys Healthcare Business Unit said, “We believe in the potential of 3D printing to provide better health care, and the Digital Anatomy 3D Printer is a major step forward.”
“We’re giving surgeons a more realistic training environment in no-risk settings. We also anticipate this will enable medical device makers to improve how they bring products to market by performing design verification, validation, usability studies and failure analysis with these new models,” adds Miller.
The new 3D printer has already been tested at several organizations such as The Jacobs Institute, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based medical innovation center focused on accelerating device development in vascular medicine. In conjunction with the 3D printer itself, Stratasys is also introducing three new materials – TissueMatrix™, GelMatrix™, and BoneMatrix™ – used to create cardiac, vascular, and orthopedic 3D printing applications. A Blood Vessel Cleaning Station that removes support material from inside 3D-printed blood vessels is also being released.
The new Stratasys 3D printer is expected to see adoption primarily by medical device companies, which require new ways to drive faster adoption of technologies and procedures – and academic medical centers, which are under increasing pressure to conduct training outside of the operating room to minimize risk to patients. The solution also supports efforts to move from time-based surgical training to proficiency-based evaluation.
The J750 Digital Anatomy 3D Printer builds on Stratasys’s investments and growing success in the healthcare market, both with medical practitioners and device makers. Last November, its J750 and J735 3D Printers and the Objet30 Prime 3D Printer were validated by partner Materialise for use with FDA-cleared Materialise Mimics inPrint software for creating anatomical models used in patient care.
The company has worked closely with the Veterans Health Administration on applying both FDM® and PolyJet technologies to a variety of healthcare settings, including a jaw reconstruction application that reduced surgical time by 80-100 minutes. Additionally, Bordeaux University Hospital in France recently integrated the Stratasys J750 in their process to 3D print life-like transparent and color models of patient kidneys for complex tumor removal cases.