Heart Model Texture Getting Closer to Reality3D-Printed Surgical Model
The heart model is three-dimensionally modelled using an ink-jet 3D printer, based upon organ data scanned by a computerized tomography (CT) device. The material is acrylate resin, and the shape and texture of inner heart are reproduced in a more realistic form. This enables doctors to improve their techniques and skills since it can be cut and opened up with a scalpel and other tools, and a needle and thread can be passed through it just like during actual surgery.
Until now, it has taken four or five days to complete a model since resin was poured into a cast to be molded, but this new method is said to shorten manufacturing time to two days at shortest. It is easily adaptable to urgent surgery operations, and furthermore it can also reduce production costs. At first, they are planning to produce 1,000 models in total that reproduce four typical diagnoses of pediatric heart diseases. The company began accepting advance orders from hospitals and medical device manufacturers on the very day of the announcement. The price for a sample model is 52,500 yen per unit.
In 2016, crossEffect started the "Heart Replica Project" in partnership with the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, a medical institute in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture, as a collaboration between medicine and industry. In addition, SCREEN Holdings has been collaborating with them on shaping devices, and Kyoeisha Chemical Co., Ltd., a chemical producer in Osaka City, has been in charge of developing ink for materials. It took two years for them to finally begin full-scale sales.
According to the center, the number of children who are diagnosed with congenital heart disease reaches up to 12,000 annually, and 9,600 surgeries are performed per year. "We want to lead the market as a front runner in organ modelling, with a view to expanding into items including adult organ modelling," said Masatoshi Takeda, CEO of crossEffect.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)