Friday, March 14, 2014

3D Printing for Cancer Treatment

Some people think 3D printing is just for gadgets like cute pencil toppers or paper weights. 

I see 3D printing in a much brighter light. In fact, medicine is one of the most important 3D printing application areas. Not just for printing artificial skin or high tech casts for accident victims, but 3D printing has been used in cancer therapy to deliver radiation treatment where it is needed.

Doctors at the Berkeley Lab for Automation Science and Engineering led by Professor Ken Goldberg and Professor Pieter Abbeel have a new method that improves and personalizes brachytherapy.

Each year, over 500,000 cancer patients globally undergo brachytherapy, (i.e., needles/implants are temporarily put into the body to guide small radioactive sources directly to a tumor. Brachytherapy is commonly used for treatment of the prostate, pelvis, breast, liver, brain, nasal cavity, throat and tongue cancers.

The 3D medical concept uses the benefits of 3D printing by using "steerable needle motion" that precisely threads radioactive sources through printed channels to disease areas. Get more details at 3D Printer World

3D printing is opening up a whole new world of medical applications. I can hardly wait to see what is coming next. 

For the latest 3D printing news and designs, check out my 3D Maker Designs & News Pinterest board. Go science!!

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