The scientists from the Clinic of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Defects of the Medical University of Gdansk (GUMed) in Poland, prove that 3D printing is not only the future of individualized medicine, but also of modern medical education. For over 3 years, they have been working intensively on the project of using 3D printing in pediatric cardiology. Now, they have decided to use the acquired experience in the education of patients and medical students, initiating a faculty of unique 3D printouts in medicine – application and methods of production addressed to students of the Faculty of Medicine and the English Division from the 4th, 5th and 6th years.

Dr hab. n. med. Robert Sabiniewicz, prof. MUG emphasizes that according to the current state of knowledge of specialists from the University, no other medical university in Poland offers (compulsory or optional) classes about the application of 3D printing technology in medicine.

Dr hab. n. med. Joanna Kwiatkowska, head of the Clinic of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Defects, GUMed, adds that only the few, most progressive universities in the world popularize this innovation. This is due to the fact that the process of creating models, due to its complexity, is still technically difficult, and outsourcing it to a few (having the appropriate equipment, software and competence) to external service providers is expensive.

The faculty was carried out at the GUMed Clinic and Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Defects. His program was written specifically for future doctors, so as to give them both the broadest possible view of the possibilities offered by this technology, as well as practical skills allowing future models themselves, emphasized Dr. Jarosław Meyer-Szary.

As part of the seminar classes, students learned about examples of the wide application of 3D printing technology in various medicine specialties. However, during exercises conducted in the form of workshop classes on computers and with printouts, future doctors learned about the various stages of model creation. Independently, under the supervision of the lecturer, they performed a preliminary analysis of the received imaging, performed image segmentation, inspection of the received model and its preparation for printing. During the last class, students cleaned up previously prepared and printed models. There were some discussion of the most common problems and obstacles when creating a model using examples.

The faculty partner is Zortrax, a 3D printer manufacturer from Poland, on whose equipment the University works. Jacek Krywko, a specialist from the Zortrax company, during a guest lecture presented practical aspects of using printers and pointed out the most important differences between available technologies. He also emphasized that he is glad that Zortrax can, together with GUMed, educate subsequent generations of doctors and familiarize them with the latest solutions in the field of using 3D printing in medicine.

So far, thanks to this innovative technique, several dozen individual patient heart models have been created in the Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Defects GUMed. Dr. Jacek Meyer Gray points out that 3D printing allows students to understand the complex flaws and problems with which patients come to us. They can better imagine what the surgery looks like and what the complications may be after it.

Huge interest in 3D printing technology is expressed by students in interviews and surveys collected after class, which indicates the need to expand the educational offer with practical learning how to manufacture 3D models with a view to their use in medicine. The faculty proposed by the Medical University of Gdansk is one of the possibilities offered by the university to students to familiarize them with modern technologies.

Magdalena Przychodniak
Editor-in-Chief of the 3D Printing Center. A biomedical engineer following the latest reports on bioprinting and 3D printing in modern medicine.

Comments are closed.

You may also like

More in News