The ability to "print" full-scale tissue analogues with realistic look, feel, and material properties directly from medical imaging data would have wide application in the MedSim market including planning and rehearsing patient-specific surgical cases, patient-caregiver communication, and enhanced visualization of radiological data. Further, 3D on-demand printing can reproduce simulations of specific patient cases that would not be available using cadavers. For utility in MedSim applications, 3D printed simulated tissue should consist of multiple substances with varying physical properties, including material analogues for bone, muscle, vessels, skin and adipose, and organ tissue. The proposed Rapid MedSim Anatomical Printer (R-MAP) uses 3D printed rapid prototyping technology to create spatially accurate 3D simulants of human tissue directly from medical imaging data. The R-MAP will enable production of high-fidelity anatomically accurate synthetic physical tissue models that can be used for anatomy, trauma simulation, surgical training/planning, and patient awareness interaction purposes.
Simulated anatomical models and tissue analogues can reduce the training costs and expense associated with use of animal and human cadaveric tissue. Application of 3D printing or rapid prototyping (RP) technology is one approach to the production of anatomically accurate, multi- substance human tissue and cadaver analogues. The proposed Rapid MedSim Anatomical Printer (R-MAP) integrates digital drop-on-demand deposition technology, proprietary medical imaging material data post-processing software, and a set of novel polymer resins with custom-tailored, variable properties to enable on-demand production of direct-from-digital multi-tissue analogues with realistic physical and mechanical properties. In the Phase I program, Nanohmics will utilize a modified commercially available multi-layer drop-on-demand deposition system to produce multi-tissue analogues from custom-formulated resins. Integration of 1) the 3D printing platform, 2) materials with tissue-matching properties, and 3) a direct path from imaging data to printed model represents a completely new innovation in both MedSim and rapid prototyping technology, providing new tools to caregivers to plan surgical procedures, train, visualize complex imaging data, and communicate with patients.