New med­i­cal fa­cil­ity opens

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG HONGYI in Shang­hai


China’s first Pe­di­atric 3D Dig­i­tal Med­i­cal Re­search Cen­ter was un­veiled in Shang­hai on Au­gust 13. The cen­ter, jointly es­tab­lished with the Shang­hai Chil­dren’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter and Ma­te­ri­alise NV, a lead­ing provider of 3D soft­ware and print­ing so­lu­tions, will fo­cus on pe­di­atric heart dis­eases and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases.

Ac­cord­ing to the cen­ter, the com­bi­na­tion of 3D dig­i­tal med­i­cal re­search and 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy will help with re­build­ing patho­log­i­cal mod­els, es­pe­cially those of con­gen­i­tal heart dis­eases. More than 3,700 con­gen­i­tal heart dis­eases oper­a­tions have been car­ried out at the Shang­hai Chil­dren’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter to date.

“3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy will help bridge the gaps in re­build­ing a pa­tient’s anatom­i­cal model through tra­di­tional imag­ing meth­ods,” said Liu Jin­fen, di­rec­tor of the re­search cen­ter, who is also the di­rec­tor of Shang­hai In­sti­tute For Pe­di­atric Con­gen­i­tal Heart Dis­ease.

“In the past, a heart sur­geon had to rely on his ex­pe­ri­ence and as­sess­ment of the sit­u­a­tion dur­ing an op­er­a­tion. Now, with a 3D model of the heart, the sur­geon can fully un­der­stand the phys­i­o­log­i­cal anatomy struc­ture and ac­cu­rately de­ter­mine the strength of blood flow at dif­fer­ent po­si­tions. This will help the sur­geon de­velop a more suit­able and in­di­vid­u­al­ized op­er­a­tion plan for pa­tient,” Liu added.

Com­pared with tra­di­tional bi­o­log­i­cal spec­i­men mod­els, the 3D model pro­vides more con­ve­nience in terms of cre­ation, col­lec­tion and stor­age, and also helps lower costs. The tech­nol­ogy will also prove use­ful in cre­at­ing a data­base of cases and es­tab­lish­ing dis­ease maps, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

Jiang Zhongyi, pres­i­dent of Shang­hai Chil­dren’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter said they will also pro­mote the use of 3D dig­i­tal med­i­cal tech­nol­ogy in the fields of pe­di­atric gen­eral surgery, plas­tic surgery, ortho­pe­dics and fa­cial fea­tures. Mean­while, they will also strive to train more med­i­cal tal­ent to use this tech­nol­ogy.

Kim Fran­cois, gen­eral man­ager of Ma­te­ri­alise China, said the com­pany will pro­vide soft­ware train­ing, 3D model print­ing and con­struc­tion, clin­i­cal soft­ware de­vel­op­ment and tech­nol­ogy sup­port for the new cen­ter.

Ear­lier this year, 12-weekold con­joined twin girls from Jiangxi province were suc­cess­fully sep­a­rated in Shang­hai with the as­sis­tance of 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy. The girls, who weighed a com­bined 9.55 kg, were con­nected by soft tis­sue at the hips and had sep­a­rate di­ges­tive sys­tems.

Be­fore the op­er­a­tion, doc­tors had sent the girls’ CT and MRI data to a 3D print­ing com­pany to re­build the anatom­i­cal struc­ture of the con­joined body parts.

“With the 3D model, we were able to bet­ter un­der­stand the ac­tual anatom­i­cal struc­ture of the twins and it helped us to de­ter­mine a more pre­cise start­ing point on the body,” a doc­tor said.

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