3Deus Dynamics to Advance Custom Anatomical Models with Dynamic Casting
3Deus Dynamics, developer of 3D printed silicone medical devices, is developing a new hybrid process that combines 3D printing and injection molding to produce anatomical models for the medical industry.
Called Dynamic Molding, the process was originally developed by the founders of the company within the 3d.FAB platform of the University of Lyon 1, and is the subject of two patents. As part of its development under 3Deus Dynamics, the technology has now been successfully deployed to create a patient-specific life-size 3D model of complex arterial disease for use in the planning and simulation of complex vascular surgeries.
3D printing of anatomical models
Producing realistic and accurate representations of human body morphology is vital in teaching anatomical knowledge, and this is where the benefits of 3D printing technologies can play a key role.
For the past few years, 3D printing has been used to produce accurate, patient-specific 3D printed anatomical models with higher degrees of color fidelity that can save hours of surgical planning time. As additive manufacturing technologies mature, an increasing number of 3D printing companies are therefore obtaining ISO certification and FDA clearance for their 3D printed models.
As a result, point-of-care 3D printed anatomical modeling services are becoming increasingly popular, with partners like Stratasys and Ricoh USA providing 3D printed models to healthcare facilities, and Fast Radius and Axial3D offering a new “DICOM-to-Print Service for Hospitals Across the United States.”
The dynamic casting printing process
3Deus Dynamics was created in 2020 by Edwin-Joffrey Courtial, Christophe Marquette and Julien Barthès, with the aim of developing a revolutionary printing technology for the production of class III silicone medical devices.
The company’s multi-patented dynamic molding technology is a hybrid process that sits at the crossroads of 3D printing and injection molding. Although the process is compatible with all common injectable materials, it is particularly suitable for working with specialty silicones.
The process works by using the flow properties of fluid silicones and granular materials such as glass beads to manufacture objects with complex geometric characteristics. The fluid silicones are deposited by a micro-dispenser immersed in a granular medium which then forms a dynamic mold to support the material during printing.
The physical properties of the powder used support the object during the printing phase and “self-repair” after each movement of the micro-doser. By overcoming gravity in this way, the process prevents the print from collapsing, which is a common problem when 3D printing flexible materials.
As a result, dynamic casting enables the production of durable physical and intricate silicone replicas of intricate organs, such as the heart, prostate, brain, kidneys and lungs. In addition to their durability, the models replicate the texture and elasticity of native human tissue and can be cut, sutured and infused with stents and implants without tearing.
The method is also capable of producing structures of varying stiffness in order to model pathological structures such as tumors within an organ.
Treat arterial disorders
3Deus Dynamic’s dynamic molding process has been successfully leveraged to produce patient-specific 3D printed anatomical models to aid in the treatment of complex arterial disorders such as aneurysms. The production of accurate and realistic replicas of tissues and arterial pathologies allows for better understanding and simulation of surgical procedures and appropriate treatments required for particular patients.
The dynamic molding process was selected by the second largest hospital in France, the Hospices Civils de Lyon, to carry out a project carried out by the vascular surgeon Patrick Feugier. The ImVasc3D project aimed to produce a patient-specific 3D model of a complex arterial disease to be treated with a minimally invasive procedure.
A life-size 3D printed abdominal aortic aneurysm model was fabricated using the dynamic molding process, starting with a digital STL file before undergoing virtual 3D reconstruction via specific imaging software for reveal the patient’s arterial tree. According to 3Deus Dynamic, this achievement is a “world first” and marks a major step forward in the development of complex silicone anatomical models.
The 3D model contained a hollow, flexible and easily manipulated structure with resolved anatomical details, such as the celiac trunk, renal arteries, superior mesenteric artery and common iliac arteries. Feugier and his team validated and evaluated the 3D model under catheterization conditions to demonstrate its ability to be used in the simulation and planning of complex arterial procedures in vascular surgery.
The dynamic molding process can also be extended to other flexible anatomical model projects for the management of pathologies requiring personalized planning and intervention.
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Featured image shows the 3D printed aorta model being used in real conditions in the operating room. Photo via 3Deus Dynamics.