3D-printed liver to help surgeons prepare for life-saving operations

3D-printed liver to help surgeons prepare for life-saving operations
Senior Research Fellow Richard Arm. Credit: Nottingham Trent University

Surgeons will perform liver resections with greater accuracy and deliver improved patient outcomes thanks to new research by Nottingham Trent University.

Senior Research Fellow Richard Arm has developed a way to 3D-print scan data of cancer-hit patient organs so that clinicians can rehearse difficult operations on lifelike models.

The aim is for them to become familiar with the hidden complexities of an operation—which are unique from patient to patient—prior to the real surgery.

A prototype 3D-printed model liver—based on an anonymised cancer patient—features the tactile qualities of a real diseased organ, including imitation blood and different tissue hardnesses, such as the blood vessels, liver tissue and the tumor itself.

The model—made from synthetic gels and fibers—even allows surgeons to use real surgical tools to practice endoscopies and laser ablation techniques, during which arteries are resealed by laser to prevent a

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