21st Century 3D Printed Cadavers (video)



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This week on Health Tech Weekly I bring you a look at a new technology that is continuing to revolutionize how we innovate medicine and healthcare. I’m talking about 3D printing. You may remember our story a while back about a 3D printed prosthetic hand that was used for a boy who couldn’t afford one of the traditional manufactured ones. Someone must’ve looked at that story and decided they could do even better.

Australian Researchers Print 3D Body

Example of scaling up or scaling down a 3D print. (A) A full size upper limb prosection shown; (B) reduction at 50%; (C) reduction at 25%; (D) the inner ear of a colobus monkey derived from segmented data extracted from a microCT data obtained from a dried skull at full size; (E) 500% enlargement of the same specimen.
Example of scaling up or scaling down a 3D print. (A) A full size upper limb prosection shown; (B) reduction at 50%; (C) reduction at 25%; (D) the inner ear of a colobus monkey derived from segmented data extracted from a microCT data obtained from a dried skull at full size; (E) 500% enlargement of the same specimen.

A team of researchers at Monash University in Australia decided to print a complete and accurate human cadaver in a 3D printer. This could totally change medical education. The use of cadavers in medical education has been the traditional way for educators to pass on anatomical knowledge to students in health careers.

The challenge has always been that the supply of donated human remains has always been limited meaning that cadavers are expensive and pretty much limited to medical schools and some high end nursing programs. If we could print anatomically correct body parts that could be easily dissected and reassembled, then more health professionals would be able to have access to this valuable learning tool.

The printed cadaver comes in a kit form with 3D rendered files from real CT scans or from surface laser scanning of a real body part. So think about it. If you’re studying the muscles of the arm, then you just print the arm. Eventually you’ll have a whole 3D body to look at with realistic tendons, veins, arteries, muscles and bone. So ask your doctor the next time you see them what they think of training on a 3D cadaver for medical school.

Link to Full Journal Article.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at out website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. I’ll be back soon with more health technology for you. In the meantime, remember that improving health takes small, simple steps that over time all add up to a healthier you. Why don’t you take a healthier step today?


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