Xiamen researchers create human organ models using 3D printing

Updated: 2015-09-17
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Read more on: Xiamen 174 Hospital   3D printing  
Local surgeons have made huge strides in treating tumor operations. Now researchers in Xiamen are using a new technique that could soon make those surgeries even more precise, by starting with an exact, 3D-printed replica of the patient's tissue.

"Engineers CT scan the patient's tissue and capture multiple images which are then used to create a 3D model using sophisticated CAD software. The model can clearly shows the bone, organ, vessels and tumor," said Pf. Wang Boliang of the Academy of Information Technology at Xiamen University, who created the software with his team.

"This is the first 3D visualization image quantitative analysis system with entirely independent intelligence properties developed in China," he added.

According to Li Wengang, head of the Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery Department in Xiamen's 174 Hospital, 3D printing technology has been used in five tumor excision operations at the hospital.

There's the hope that 3D printers could someday produce much-needed organs for transplants. Foreign scientists are already using the machines to print portions of a human liver. And while printing whole human organs for surgical transplants is still years away, the technology is rapidly developing.

According to Pf. Wang, other colleges at Xiamen University, including the academies of materials science, bioengineering, and tissue engineering, are also doing research in this field. 
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