Matter Into Medicine: The Biomedical Applications of 3D Printing

The impact of 3D printing is expected to affect all of our lives at some point in the near future—whether it will be the products we buy, the educational tools we use or the medical care we seek.

An eye, nose or ear can be 3D printed in medical grade silicone, making a new prosthesis a perfect match for what was once present. Bone scaffolds are being used to support fractures or surgically excised bones, while healing begins from the existing bone. Private industry and academic researchers alike are experimenting with bioprinting for organs and tissues. What else will be possible with bioprinting in the near and distant future? Will doctors be able to cure diabetes or vascular disease by printing a new pancreas or blood vessels? And how is 3D printing used today to plan for complex surgical procedures?

Simulation-based learning for surgical procedures can protect patients from a physician’s learning curve, providing safer, higher-quality and less expensive medical care. For example, a surgeon working with a 3D model crafted from scans of a patient’s body can practice repair of a valve, removal of a tumor and other surgeries. This hands-on roadmap can be invaluable, especially in rare or highly complex procedures.

Join C2ST and Dr. Katherine Barsness, pediatric surgeon at Ann and Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, for a program focusing on the present and future of medical 3D printing.

For three years, a team at Northwestern has been pushing the boundaries of mixed-material 3D prototyping. Dr. Barsness, Lauren Davis, an architect-turned-product-designer, and Ellie Hawkinson, a biomedical engineer, have been developing neonatal surgical models to train pediatric surgeons. Just last year, the team began to print exact replicas of congenital anomalies, from real images on real patients. Dr. Barsness is now able to preoperatively plan for complex surgical procedures by taking trainees and intraoperative staff through the actual operation, using the philosophy of just-in-time training.

Barsness will introduce us to the Center for Education in Medicine Innovations Laboratory at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and discuss the present and future of medical 3D printing. Models from her lab will be available to view and handle for all attendees during the social hour prior to the program.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 26, 2014. 5 p.m. registration and social hour, 6 p.m. program.

WHERE: Northwestern University, Hughes Auditorium 303 E. Superior St. Chicago, IL. 6061

REGISTER: at Members free. Others $20. Students $5.

PARKING: Discounted parking will be made available to the first 50 attendees at the 222 E. Huron St. garage; ask for a ticket at the registration desk upon arrival to the program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Andrea Poet, programs and public relations associate, at or 312/567-5795, or 773/505-6007.

4 p.m. members-only tour of the Center for Education in Medicine Innovations Lab is SOLD OUT

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