Technology has considerably advanced. This is how something extraordinary can happen. An all-Italian excellence in healthcare. Because in our peninsula there is not only a bad health care system, often among the first news on the newspapers. But there is good, indeed excellent news concerning health facilities of excellence. And that’s what we want to tell you about: the use of the 3D printer in a hospital and especially for oncological treatments.
3D printer the experience of a hospital in Bologna
What was tested in an Italian hospital made so much news that it was also the main topic of a press report in the Tv program “Le Iene”, dedicated to good Italian health. We’re talking about the experience of the Rizzoli hospital in Bologna. A health facility that deals with orthopedics. Here, not only are traumas treated, such as injuries to the limbs, but also cancers. A new technique to combat oncological pathologies, through the 3D printer.
Cancers treated with the printer that reproduces some limbs
Dr. Alessandro Gasbarrini, director of Rizzoli’s oncological and degenerative vertebral surgery, lauched this experimentation a few months ago. It deals with controlling subjects suffering from a tumor, for example those of the bones or the spine. The parts of the body affected by the disease are then studied. Then the carbon prosthesis is printed equal to the part of the affected bone. The finished prosthesis will then be implanted through surgery. The engineers who deal with new technologies are helping the doctor. Through the images reproduced by the CT and resonance diagnostic analyzes they reconstructed the sick part. This type of experimentation is also ensured by the national health service, therefore free for patients.
The use of the printer during the Covid emergency
And if the one experienced a few months ago at Rizzoli is one of the many Italian excellences concerning health, there are others that have become relevant in recent months. In the midst of Covid-19 emergency in some Italian but also foreign cities, a new technique has been tested with the 3D printer. Used a snorkeling mask that helps those who go underwater to facilitate breathing. With the application of a 3D printed valve, these masks have been transformed into respiratory masks for emergencies and especially in sub-intensive therapy.
But the use of these printers in healthcare has made great strides. There are many health facilities where they print parts of the body and then study them and be able to treat their patients. Meanwhile, Rizzoli’s experience teaches how significant progress can be made also in Italy and in cancer treatment. A project that will certainly be significant for the medicine of the future. The use of 3D printers to study the reproduction of human organs before performing an intervention is a reality. It will probably soon lead to the creation of completely artificial organs.