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University of Cuba investigates 3D technology in skull implants

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Matanzas, Cuba.- An investigation into the design and manufacture of skull implants using 3D printing, is currently being developed by the Center for Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing Studies (Cefas) of the University of Matanzas, reported here.

At the head of the work, Doctor of Science Marcelino Rivas, and Mr. Alejandro González, with the collaboration of doctors of medicine Eglys Rodríguez Ramos and Abel Álvarez, both neurosurgeons, and clinician Yadiel González, reported the weekly Girón.

The implant design obeys the geometric characteristics of the patient’s defect, hence the need for a process of acquiring and processing medical information, added the Matancera publication.

Cranial morphology is obtained through an examination of medical images, such as CT scan and Magnetic Resonance,’ said Alejandro González, of the aforementioned center of High Studies located in this western city.

These are known as the two best methods used in obtaining information for diagnosis and surgical planning,’ he added.

According to the expert, in the process of data acquisition the afflicted person undergoes radiological examination to scan the affected region, where a series of cross-sections of the analyzed tissue are made.

After obtaining the 2D images – he said – the data must be exported in Dicom (Digital Imaging Communications on Medicine) format, and to generate the 3D model, the images are processed in the free RadiAnt Dicom software.

The text indicates that the generated 3D model is stored in STL format, which describes the orientation and position in the three-dimensional space of all triangles or polygons that represent the surface of the skull.

This research aims, Alejandro González said, to reduce the risk to which a patient is exposed, as well as the duration of the operations and although it is being studied, ‘it represents an advance in Cuban medicine.’

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