Synthetic Heterogeneous Anatomy by Rapid Prototyping (SHARP)
Modern advances in 3D printing and related additive manufacturing technologies offer an approach to provide high-fidelity anatomical models that can be used for medical simulation and training. Current 3D printing systems do not provide a method for various materials to be simultaneously deposited to represent the various properties of tissue, bone, muscle, etc, nor do they provide directionality of supporting structures on a micro-scale. For simulated tissues we need to be able to print materials that include the following properties: Wide range of stiffness from solid bone to gelatinous fatty tissues Modulus of elasticity that is different along one direction than in the orthogonal directions Controlled adhesion between layers of dissimilar materials Ability to create cavities for hollow organs and vessels Provide representative mechanical properties in addition to tactile feel and realistic colors Because of these unusual requirements, a rapid prototyping system for simulated organs and anatomical structures will require a custom design that advances the state of the art in rapid manufacturing. Infoscitex Corporation and its collaborators at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are currently developing the Synthetic Heterogeneous Anatomy by Rapid Prototyping (SHARP) system to address these needs.
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