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Over 20 Complex Aortic Surgeries Executed with Support from 3D Printed Models in Largest European Case Study

The Vascular Surgery Department at the Policlinico San Matteo Hospital in Pavia, Italy, partnered with University of Pavia‘s internal medical 3D printing laboratory to conduct over 20 cases of highly complex aortic surgeries.

The University’s Proto-Lab 3D printing laboratory is directed by Prof. Ferdinando Auricchio, one of the first and most fervent supporters for the use of 3D printing in surgical preparation in Italy. Over the last years, 20 cases of complex aortic diseases were investigated through the use of 3D printed anatomic models, in what is the single largest case study of this kind in Europe. 

Based on CT SCAN 3D data, the 3D models accurately reproduce the patients’ clinical situation. They are then elaborated by Professor Auricchio’s team of medical and engineering students to be 3D printed using both full color binder jetting or multimaterial polyjet technologies. as well as extrusion based processes.

This helps doctors to practice extensively before surgery on a physical representation of the vascualr system they are going to be operating on. Surgery time can thus be significantly reduced, while drastically reducing the unexpected difficulties that may arise during the operation.

The Proto-Lab is part of the more extended 3D@UNIPV program which covers all areas of software design, new materials, processes and applications of 3D printing. The project is supported in terms of available resources by 6 laboratories at DICAr (Proto-Lab, β-lab, Mate-Lab, Nume-Lab, Active-Lab, AML-Lab), lab Arvedi, Pharma-Lab, Photo Lab and LAMSC and the financial knowledge of the spin-off Fast4ward, for a total value of instrumentation of about € 1.000.000.

The ProtoLab is equipped with seven different 3D printers: Object 30 Pro (Objet-Stratasys), 3D Systems’ ProJet 460 Plus, 3NTR’s A4v2 and A4v3, Leapfrog’s Creatr HS and Leapfrog Creatr, and a Form-2. For a detailed description please refer to the Proto-Lab webpage.

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