3D printing has emerged as a technology with which many medical processes and conditions can be studied virtually. Using a 3d printer, three dimensional models of particular organs of the body can be created, favoring easy studying of the body parts.
Now, scientists have created a new, low-cost approach to build a knee model for studying knee pain and impaired mobility.
‘3d printing creates knee model for evaluating patellar disorders and surgical approaches.’
The reconstructed knee model closely simulates the movement of the patella (kneecap) observed in cadaver knee models.
Because the kneecap acts like a shield for knee joint, it can easily be broken. Falling directly onto the knee is a common cause of patellar fractures.
Researchers Gian Luca Gervasi, Roberto Tiribuzi and a team from the University of Ioannina, Greece and Giuliano Cerulli from Universitā Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy used a motion tracking system to measure the position of the patella as different loads and forces were applied to the knee model at various degrees of flexion.
They used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of a real knee to develop the computer-aided design software files used by a 3D printer to create the three main components of the knee and a navigation system for combining them with artificial ligaments and a tendon.
The team presented the results of static experiments in the study published in the journal 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing