Tampa General, USF Health utilize 3D printing

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

May 20, 2022 -- Tampa General Health and the radiology department at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine have deployed 3D printing for a variety of applications.

The collaboration began as a research project, but now physicians at Tampa General have utilized 3D-printed models for planning aortic valve replacements, trauma surgery, cancer surgery, and other reconstructions, according to the institutions. In addition, surgeons are using replicas or organs to improve surgical planning.

"We're able to translate medical imaging data into 3D models and these can be used in clinical decision-making, medical simulation, and training, as well as patient education,'' said Summer Decker, PhD, associate professor and director of 3D Clinical Applications for USF Health Morsani College of Medicine's radiology department, in a statement.

Sample of a 3D-printed model produced for surgical planning by Tampa General Hospital and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine
Sample of a 3D-printed model produced for surgical planning by Tampa General Hospital and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Image courtesy of Tampa General Hospital.

By using 3D models as planning tools, surgeries that normally take 11 hours can be completed in three hours, for example, according to Decker. The USF Health 3D lab team also produced 3D-printed nasopharyngeal swabs during the pandemic to collect nasal secretions for COVID-19 tests. The USF swab design, which is patent pending, has been used to produce more than 75 million swabs in over 50 countries, according to Tampa General Hospital.

Located at the USF Health South Tampa Center for Advanced Healthcare on the Tampa General campus for the past eight years, the 3D clinical applications team will be relocating -- along with their seven medical-grade 3D printers inside the main hospital radiology department at Tampa General.


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