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Virtual digital resources and printed models have become indispensable tools for medical training and surgical planning. Nevertheless, printed models of soft tissue organs are still challenging to reproduce. This study adopts open source packages and a low-cost desktop 3D printer to convert multiple modalities of medical images to digital resources (volume rendering images and digital models) and lifelike printed models, which are useful to enhance our understanding of the geometric structure and complex spatial nature of anatomical organs.
Neuroimaging technologies such as CT, CTA, MRI, and TOF-MRA collect serial medical images. The procedures for producing digital resources can be divided into volume rendering and medical image reconstruction. To verify the accuracy of reconstruction, this study presents qualitative and quantitative assessments. Subsequently, digital models are archived as stereolithography format files and imported to the bundled software of the 3D printer. The printed models are produced using polylactide filament materials.
We have successfully converted multiple modalities of medical images to digital resources and printed models for both hard organs (cranial base and tooth) and soft tissue organs (brain, blood vessels of the brain, the heart chambers and vessel lumen, and pituitary tumor). Multiple digital resources and printed models were provided to illustrate the anatomical relationship between organs and complicated surrounding structures. Three-dimensional printing (3DP) is a powerful tool to produce lifelike and tangible models.
We present an available and cost-effective method for producing both digital resources and printed models. The choice of modality in medical images and the processing approach is important when reproducing soft tissue organs models. The accuracy of the printed model is determined by the quality of organ models and 3DP. With the ongoing improvement of printing techniques and the variety of materials available, 3DP will become an indispensable tool in medical training and surgical planning.
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- The production of digital and printed resources from multiple modalities using visualization and three-dimensional printing techniques
- Springer International Publishing
International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
A journal for interdisciplinary research, development and applications of image guided diagnosis and therapy
Print ISSN: 1861-6410
Elektronische ISSN: 1861-6429
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