Sean Peel, a Ph.D. candidate and medical applications research technician at Cardiff Metropolitan University and its Patient-Specific Medical Design Knowledge Transfer Center, represented CARTIS at the recent Advanced Digital Technology (ADT) North America Regional Leadership Group Conference in California. He presented three case studies highlighting how advanced digital technologies can be combined with design expertise to fulfill specific clinical requirements and aid patient.
The Scope of the ADT conference is broad, but essentially it focuses on advanced digital technology in relation to head and neck reconstruction, covering topics that include 3D printing, digital sculpting, simulation systems, navigation systems, robotics, virtual reality, regenerative medicine and related materials among others.
The CARTIS cases studies illustrated the power of Geomagic’s Freeform 3D digital modelling system to perform digital anatomical reconstruction, implant form design and final implant detailing in the hands of experienced designers. Specifically for a cranioplasty implant, an orbital-temporal implant and a zygomatic osteotomy positioning jig/drilling guide. Each digital model was then produced using advanced 3D printing processes that included electron beam melting, selective laser melting and stereolithography.
According to Dr. Dominic Eggbeer, Research Officer at Cardiff Metropolitan University and member of CARTIS: “The advances made possible by using the right software in the digital workflow are astonishing. Geomagic Freeform has become the centerpiece of our process because it lets us sculpt our devices accurately and aesthetically, and it provides the digital output formats needed for advanced additive fabrication methods.”
And the result? Once each of these implants or guides were 3D printed and finished, all three were used or implanted successfully and surgical time was significantly reduced. Of particular note, was the fact that no modifications of the designs were required in theatre. In terms of quality, the design process was on a par with, or better than, traditional lab methods with the main benefit being a significant increase in accuracy and therefore a better fit for the patient.
The ADT North America Regional Leadership Group Conference took place Friday and Saturday last, in La Jolla, San Diego, California.
The Centre for Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery (CARTIS) is a unique partnership that aims to make Wales a world-leader in the research, development and application of advanced technologies in surgery and prosthetics.
The partnership combines the medical and technical expertise of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board’s Maxillofacial Unit at Morriston Hospital and the National Centre for Product Design + Development Research (PDR) at Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC). The CARTIS partnership also extends to include other national and international collaborations.
Through collaborative research and clinical application, the centre continues to pioneer the effective application of advanced design and manufacturing technologies in reconstructive surgery and prosthetic rehabilitation.