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Surgical training and planning systems based on ultra-realistic anatomical models in situations where advanced 3D imaging is insufficient

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20210527002
Publication Date: 27 May 2021


A Spanish technological centre, expert in additive manufacturing, works currently with a new key technology that using the materials in the right combination, simulates reliably the human tissues. They search partners for projects on medical and related fields requiring the use of bio-models, and partners for technical cooperation agreements on segmentation and files conversion of medical images, obtaining of bio-models for different purposes and validation of the performance of medical devices.


Different studies demonstrate that using bio-models reduce operating room times by 17,63% in cranio-maxillofacial surgeries, by 8% in case of tumours and 22% in cases of deformation in complex spine surgeries. Other studies establish that the use of bio-models in maxillofacial surgeries reduce the operating room times by 16% and the costs efficiency by 700€ per surgery. Without those technologies, hospitals and clinics face different types of challenges such as the lack of viable training outside the operating room, the lack of specific anatomies when consistent, insufficient realistic and precise results, the higher costs of the operating room and a limited access to CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) images. 

The Spanish research centre, working in the additive manufacturing since 1998 and the first organisation in Europe implementing a toecap 3D technology that allows developing and obtaining simulated organs and identifying their pathologies from images coming from a CAT (computed axial tomography) or magnetic resonance, is currently working and researching with a new key technology that, using a series of materials in the appropriate combination, simulates reliably the human tissues.

The veins that were not possible to be simulated before, have greatly improved their texture and flexibility in the simulations developed, offering the possibility to reproduce them very roughly. In the same way, bones and other organic textures are reproduced with great similarity. This allows the obtaining of bio-models with and without specific pathology from DICOM images (Digital Imaging and Communication on Medicine standard).

The new printing technologies have demonstrated to be very useful, especially in advanced complex surgeries and training (as those materials are not implantable), for both experienced and non-experienced surgeons in surgeries of pathologies that occur rarely. So far, these technologies have proven to be more useful in specialities such as traumatology, maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery and advanced surgical planning. However, this could be transferred to any speciality in which both, functional and aesthetic models are required.

The centre, with the expertise and knowledge acquired, can develop different prototypes within the required scope of action: training, instrumental, clinical simulation, robotic systems… It must be considered that they are not implantable prototypes.

On the one hand, they look for partners to research on the medical and related fields, centres where bio-model applications are required to help improving the time in the operating room, the costs and how they influence the confidence of the surgeon and the recovery of the patient. For this aim, European projects can be conceived (i.e.: HORIZON-HLTH-DISEASE-2021-04-01, HORIZON-HLTH-CARE-2021-05-01, HORIZON-HLTH-TOOL-2022-11-02).

On the other hand, technical cooperation agreements could be established with hospitals and others devoted to specialised medicine, enterprises devoted to the treatment of medical images, companies related to files segmentation and exportation to 3D files (STL, VRL, 3MF, …), providers of medical devices and bio-models and also training organizations or those working at any step of the value chain of the referred products.

Advantages and Innovations

The work previously carried out by the technological centre demonstrates that this technology can solve much of the medical needs in hospitals, as it allows the development and obtaining of near-to-real ‘organs’ and their pathologies from an image coming from a TAC or magnetic resonance. This will allow pre-operative trials in complicated surgeries and / or the possibility of obtaining parts of the human body for training in medicine without continually resorting to the acquisition of cadavers.

Stage Of Development

Available for demonstration

Requested partner

The partners sought need to be related and/or interested in the following:
• Development of bio-models for pre-surgery analysis and planning
• Obtaining of bio-models for surgery or medical training
• Medical images and the analysis of the limitations they have that could be faced with the use of bio-models
• Segmentation and files conversion of medical images
• Medical devices and the validation of their performance

Kooperationsanfrage stellen