3DP Applications

3D Printing A Solution To Cervical Cancer

Great progress has been made in the developed world into the horror of cervical cancer, the third most common cancer in the world. But there is still a long way to go, with the World Health Organization reporting some 275,000 deaths each year, most in the developing world. Now a new device, the “CryoPop” has been prototyped by using 3D printing technology, producing a solution ten times cheaper and some thirty times more efficient than other treatments in use.

Biomedical engineers from Jhpiego and Momo Scientific have developed the device, designed to fight cervical cancer using dry ice as a cryogenic agent to freeze precancerous lesions in the cervix. The ingenuity encompassing the availability of dry ice in the developing world, thanks to its use by soda companies who trade there.

‘While cervical cancer has been largely eradicated in the developed world by the incorporation of regular screening and new opportunities for vaccinations, it remains a large burden in the developing world. Inadequate healthcare infrastructure, high costs, and the lack of an appropriate technology for treatment combine to make cervical cancer the third most common cancer in the world, with over 250,000 deaths per year. Eighty-eight percent of all cases occur in the developing world.’ http://nciia.org

The Bioengineering Lab at Johns Hopkins University 3D-printed the first CryoPop, but ran into problems for their high specification needs: the low resolution of their printer created difficulties in removing support material and creating extant but interlinking parts.

John Sidhom Cryopop DeviceFurther to research the team learned that Potomac Photonics of Maryland, US, had a 3D Systems Projet HD 3000 Plus with specifications sufficient for the job. The results were more than sufficient, allowing the development of the amazing device to be brought to fruition.

The CryoPop is currently being tested. Once complete, Momo Scientific intends to create a supply chain to distribute the CryoPop throughout India and Africa, where the menace of this cancer rages most intensely.

Once again, 3D printing is helping catalyze medical progress, change our world and give hope to millions.