Medical Models was recently contacted to help Dr. D’Ambrosio, Associate professor of Neurological surgery at the University of Washington in the development of patient specific skull bone flaps. His groups research is aimed at improving the treatment of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.
The challenge is to get patient specific anatomy as well as the surgical location prior to surgery. The need for a custom bone flap ready to go prior to surgery requires an interface that allows the study’s doctors Dr. Ojemann along with Dr. Miller to locate the area for the operative hole in the skull prior to surgery. While there are many programs that can be used for this I have found using the open source graphics program blender is more than adequate for these needs.
Once we worked through getting the best possible scan data and had a good model of the superior part of the skull, we could create geometry that can be placed by the surgeon before the operation.
While Medical Models would not be creating the actual bone flap (We don’t have the capability to create implanted medical devices) we will provide the data processing and bone flap model file.
As part of the preliminary work we created a 3D model to give a tangible representation of the process. The skull and flap were printed out of plastic.