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Researchers from Italy & Greece 3D Print Knee Models for Successful Use in Personalized Surgical Plans

by • April 8, 2016 • No Comments

download (22)Now, researchers of the University of Ioannina in Greece and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome, Italy, are quite via the innovation of the 3D version to their benefit—and surely to that of next patients—in assembling a 3D printed knee version to study knee pain and impaired locomotion for the reason of issues with the patella.

With 3D printing, the researchers have been able-bodied to fabricate the next:

FemurTibiaPatellaKnee reconstruction tutorial

cattolicaThat’s a lot of information to acquire through 3D versioning—and with the tutorial, the researchers are able-bodied to acquire a quite close belief of the defect in the patella as it simulates movement that they’ve observed in cadavers.

All of this and additional has been outlined in the paper, ‘A Novel Approach for Patellofemoral Tracking Choosing a Knee Model Reconstructed with a Three-Dimensional Printer,’ by Gian Luca Gervasi, Roberto Tiribuzi, Anastasios Georgoulis, Cerulli Giuliano, and Marco Freddolini. The research was not long ago published in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

With this version, the researchers employ all the benefits of 3D printing of customization and self-sustainability in research, to speed in production, and affordability. In their paper, they more detail how they were able-bodied to use MRI scans of a patient’s knee to 3D print versions of the three main parts of the knee, along with the tutorial that aided in putting them together with artificial ligaments and a tendon. With these artificial ‘knee parts’ they were able-bodied to see what may happen—and how—as they applied force at varying degrees.

“The quadriceps tendon was simulated via a polyvinylchloride cord attached to the tibial insertion and the patella. The version was fixed to a tensile test machine and four static tests were performed by applying 200 N load in the proximal–distal way through the cord at 30°, 60°, and 90° of knee flexion,” say the researchers in their paper. “The position of the patella was measured via a motion-tracking process with a custom-made navigation process.”

This research and the usefulness of the versions is significant for the reason ‘patellar maltracking’ is the cause of knee pain, abnormal movement, and numerous joint disorders that lead to pain and mobility issues.

“…it is significant to evaluate the kinematics of the patellofemoral joint in subjects with patellar instability. It is challenging to use in vivo kinematic analysis methods normally utilized for a exact analysis of lower limb joint motion for the reason the data acquired with the motion-tracking process (e.g., optoelectronic process) are influenced by the relative movement of the markers on the skin that introduces errors in the recorded data,” say the researchers.

They exported the file data of the MRI into a 3D version with the use of FreeCAD 22 and and so 3D printed on a MakerGear 3D printing device. Once the version was conclude, the researchers evaluated it with a compressive loading test. The researchers sayd that three identical patellae were reconstructed with the same parameters utilized for the version patella, and and so a compressive loading test was performed with an Instron 5965 materials-testing machine (Instron, Inc.).

“Neoligaments artificial ligaments (Xiros) were utilized as anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, and lateral collateral ligament to mimic the stability of the real knee. For this preliminary study, we chose just these principal ligaments that are sufficient to guarantee the stability of the knee,” say the researchers. “The ligaments were fixed to their insertion points, next anatomical landmarks at their isometric positions and via MRI to advantageous select insertion points.”

They discovered in evaluating the versions additional that the position of the patella for the preliminary study indeed followed patterns much like to what was discovered in ‘much like static and dynamic studies’ when employing cadavers for research. With patellar tilting being another significant parameter to evaluate knee stability and various conditions, they evaluated its position. The patella tilted progressively in the lateral way and showed a pattern much like to those observed for static and dynamic studies of cadaver’s knees. Patellar spin and flexion data were in addition consistent with in vitro studies.

The results of the study overall were quite positive in that the 3D printed version, fabricated at a beneficially low cost was able-bodied to simulate patellar behavior in a additional than sufficient manner. With such good results, it was decided that researchers may be able-bodied to use the versions to manufacture customized surgical treatment plans for patients.


Navigation process. (A) L-shaped geometry frame for femur tracking; (B) asymmetrical rhomboids geometry for patellar tracking.

At initially glance most yet may wonder how easy 3D printed versions can be having such a multi-tiered impact in medicine. By bringing patient-specific data of MRIs or CTs and transferring it to a customized version, medical professionals are able-bodied to go much additional than at any time previously imagined. They are advantageous able-bodied to diagnose and plot a course of treatment. From there they can in addition use the customized version to explain to the patient of their condition and outline next procedures. Surgeons can use the versions to train for new and complicated surgeries, navigate in the operating room by referring to the versions, and and so can allow them to work as training tools for medical students—a far cry of via a piece of fruit to practice on, or a cadaver.

With the use of 3D printed versions, implants, and additional, we’ve come a long way may already of the one-size-fits-all mentality. With this new innovation, we are moving into the era of true patient-specific treatment. 3D printed versions in addition contribute a appear within the human body approximately like a snapshot that we can hold, examine, and use for research and insight into evaluating challenging conditions. How do you ponder these versions can affect the next of much like research? Discuss in the 3D Printed Knee Part Models forum over at 3DPB.com.

figure3 (1)

Compressive test results. The graph shows the compressive load as function of the deformation of the patella. In the figure, the range of interest for this study is circled.