Sharebot Antares 3D prints a skull for post-mortem analysis
The Foundation of the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute, IRCCS of Milan, and in particular the Neuroradiology department led by Doctor Maria Grazia Bruzzone, has launched a collaboration with Sensibilab Laboratory (led by Prof. Giuseppe Andreoni) and with Modelli Laboratory of Polytechnic University of Milan (branch of Lecco) to complete a research about utilization of Additive Manucturing and 3D printing technologies in medicine.
Carlo Besta Neurological Institute deals with study of central nervous system pathologies and it’s always looking for solutions to allow an early diagnosis through the identification of specific biomarkers. Research of these biomarkers requires a thorough knowledge of structure and functionality of encephalon.
A reference point for understanding human anatomy are the post-mortem studies. Usually encephalon is dissect manually after it has been treated with Formaldehyde and then is studied under the microscope to find out possible anomalies in cell structure.
The next step proposed by Besta Institute is the brain scan ex-vivo through MRI. It results very difficult because, after explantation, brain must be preserved with particular accuracy to avoid damages that could condition the following analysis. Moreover, if skull is no longer propped up by its natural place, albeit fixed by Formaldehyde, it could be deform under its own weight.
It’s here that researchers of Sensibilab Laboratory and Modelli Laboratory of Polytechnic University of Milan are involved in. Then the Sharebot professional 3D printers come in. Starting with skull CT (Computer Tomography), you can realize a 3D design of the internal part of skull.
The 3D design is subsequently inserted a margin of 2 or 3 millimeters to leave the necessary space to pour Fomblin® liquid that simulate the spinal fluid. Then the model is prepared to 3D print through slicing software and then it’s 3D printed.
3D printing of 3D model, however, requires very high definition because, as stated above, encephalon removed from skull needs care to avoid any damage, that could be caused by a slightest error during 3D printing. That’s why the chosen professional 3D printer was Sharebot Antares, a SLA technology tool (Stereolithography), that prints with resins and boasts a very high precision despite big dimensions of printing area (250x250x250 mm). At the moment Sharebot Antares 3D printer is one of the few existing that can realize a whole skull in a unique printing chamber.
The advantages of relying on Sharebot
Then the skull will be anchored with ad-hoc parts created through Additive Manufacturing. They are supports that don’t need particular features about superficial definition and precision. For this reason and to reduce costs and time-to-market, these parts are 3D printed with our FFF technology Sharebot NG (Fused Filament Fabrication).
3D printed supports and skull are putted in a mask for MRI. Then the skull is filled with dedicated fluid and the encephalon is inserted inside. The skull is hermetically sealed, additional fluid is poured through an hole for maintaining skull in suspension and finally the hole is sealed to prevent the fluid from escaping during the handling in MRI.
The obtained system allows to create many brain MRI before carrying out the incision. So we can reach the goal of obtaining a more precise and detailed analysis about rare neurodegenerative diseases. And of saving lives.
3D printers used for case study: Sharebot Antares and Sharebot NG
Sharebot Antares is SLA professional 3D printer that cures photosensitive resins with a UV laser. The printer is a professional working tool able to create big size models (250 x 250 x 250 mm) with the dedicated resins PR-S and PR-T at the highest precision and resolution.
The printer can be used in every laboratory and research center and it is fully compatible with all the main slicing softwares (we suggest Kissslicer, Slic3r, Simplify3D and Cura). Like all the Sharebot professional 3D printers, Antares is internet-ready and can be managed remotely (during the printing process).
- BUILDING VOLUME
- LASER POWER
- Z RESOLUTION
> 0,05 mm
- XY RESOLUTION
± 0,1 mm
Data may change because of technical reasons
Sharebot NG, Next Generation, is a professional and economic 3D printer available from €1500. Sharebot NG is based on FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) 3D printing technology.
The 3D printer is a working tool for professionals; it is a solid, Made in Italy and easy to use machine that can be used in many different working areas. This is the third generation 3D printers produced by Sharebot thanks its great experience and know-how and it is designed to be used by professionals looking for a great reliability printer.
Sharebot NG has an integrated heated printing plate with a 250x200x200 mm building area with a 0.04 mm nozzle: this features allow to work with different filaments like PLA-S (special PLA material developed by Sharebot, economic and easy to use), ABS-HF (a strong and professional-oriented ABS filament) and technical materials like Nylon-Carbon (charged with nylon and carbon, strong and resistant), TPU (a polyurethane, elastic and with memory form) and Poly.
Sharebot NG has an LCD screen dedicated to the printer operation management: once the SD card is inserted, the user can set up or modify any printing setting and mange the printing peocess thanks to the smart control knob.
The 3D printer is available in two model: mono or double extruder. The double extruder allows to print with two different materials on the same prototype, giving to the professional user the possibiliy to mix filament with different features. Sharebot Academy has a wide choice of 3D printing courses dedicated to learn all the Sharebot NG secrets so that the user can understand how to use the printer correctly.
Sharebot NG has the CE certification and it is Made in Italy.