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Belgian ophthalmologists complete world’s first 3D printed eye prosthesis – 3ders.org (blog)

by • July 18, 2016 • No Comments

Jul 19, 2016 | By Alec

Whilst new medical 3D printing applications seem to be turn it intod each week, there are yet so most fields in healthcare that may benefit of custom 3D printed solutions. Fortunately, Belgian specialists of the Academic Hospital of the University of Leuven have just brought 3D printing to ophthalmology as well. They have turn it intod the world’s initially 3D printed eye prosthesis, for a 68-year-old male patient. What’s additional, the prosthesis just cost €1,300 (about $1,430) to manufacture, and is largely covered by the patient’s insurance.
Of course eye prostheses have around for decades, and the reason why 3D printing hasn’t yet been applied in this field is most likely for the reason there’s quite little demand for them. They’re obviously worn by patients who lose an eye for whatat any time reason. Serious eye infections, eye tumors or a misshaped blind eye can necessitate eye removal, while a few patients are born without an eye. In Leuven, they just see of two patients per month who require an eye prosthesis. These aren’t bionic, but only prosthetic – patients can’t see through them, but the muscle tissue surrounding the eye can facilitate movement to turn it into a normal appearance.

But problematically, all prostheses require to be made by hand. And as there’s so little demand for them, there are usually just a few specialists in a single country who are capable of producing these prostheses. You can’t just sign up for a course in eye prosthesis producing. Leuven is the just Belgian hospital to employ a full-time specialist, who manufactures of 70 various prostheses per year. It is in addition a quite artistic job: the iris is painted by hand to match the other eye, while choosing the right white color for the sclera can be complex too. The little blood vessels are usually mimicked via miniscule red cotton threads.
It is thus, as eye socket surgeon professor Ilse Mombaerts puts it, a luxury item. “Eye prostheses are a luxury, and communication with the artist is thus of crucial importance for the create of their new eye. The ophthalmologists that performed the surgery on them are frequently directly involved with the artist who creates the prosthesis,” she explains. The artisanal prosthesis costs of €1,300 to manufacture, but as the hospital previously invested in medical 3D printing, the costs remain about the same. They are may already via Materialise 3D printing systems, that do not affect deliquite times at all.

But anything artisanal can in addition be imperfect, while it can be challenging to get a perfect fit in the eye socket as well. That’s why the hospital’s ophthalmologists turned to 3D printing. Traditionally, the eye socket is measured with an alginate mold, made through a quite time-consuming and trial-and-error procedure that puts a lot of pressure on delicate tissue. But this time, the specialists instead utilized a cbct (cone beam computed tomography) scan to manufacture a 3D printable edition. It is a quite common procedures for dental surgery may already, as it is perfect for getting a perfect edition of the area without hurting the patient – but the Belgian specialists are now thus the initially to apply this to eye prostheses.
That edition was subsequently 3D printed by the hospital’s 3D engineer, and sent on to the eye prosthesis specialist. For this particular patient, the 3D print served as a edition with that the artisanal prosthesis was turn it intod. Over time, yet, the hospital intends to directly 3D print the editions in a carbon material – that they are may already doing for dental prostheses. “An eye prosthesis that can be 3D printed directly is not technically possible yet, but can unquestionably be inside our reach soon,” says professor Mombaerts. “A carbon prosthesis can be approximately indistinguishable of the real thing.”

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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Blind Pew wrote at 7/19/2016 4:53:28 PM:
Eye’s be watching you…
Jim Walker wrote at 7/19/2016 4:09:22 PM:
One way a man can not have an eyeball is to be born without them, known as Bilateral Anapthalma.

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