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Mount Sinai Health System has launched the Medical Modeling Core, a service through which clinicians can order 3D printed models for specific cases. The service will be the first of its kind to cater to the unique patient-specific modeling requirements of clinicians at Mount Sinai.
Founded in the mid-19th century, Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the oldest and biggest hospitals in the United States to be used for both treating patients and training medical staff. Its age, however, appears no obstacle to its willingness to adopt new methods. In 2013, the hospital embarked on an ambitious upscaling, partnering with Continuum Health Partners to form the Mount Sinai Health System, which contains the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and seven hospital campuses in the New York metropolitan area. And the hospital is ahead of the curve in terms of technology, too. Earlier this week, the Health System announced the creation of the Medical Modeling Core, a collaboration led by the Department of Neurosurgery which will see physicians able to order medical 3D models in various forms: virtual reality, simulation, and 3D printed.
The first-of-its-kind modeling service will, according to Mount Sinai, cater to the unique requirements of Mount Sinai clinicians, and will be available to medical professionals from several departments of the institution. “Our simulation, prototyping, and 3D printing resources developed here at Mount Sinai are rare for a medical institution,” said Joshua Bederson, MD, Professor and System Chair for the Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Health System and Clinical Director of the Neurosurgery Simulation Core. “These models are used in the planning stages for minimally invasive approaches and can be a trial run for the surgery. In conjunction with simulation, they also play an important role in the patient consultation process.”
Anthony Costa, PhD, Assistant Professor for the Department of Neurosurgery and Scientific Director of the Neurosurgery Simulation Core at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will lead the 3D printing operations of the exciting new modeling service at Mount Sinai. According to Mount Sinai, Dr. Costa has developed his own segmentation tools that will be used to turn radiological data from CT scans and other sources into models that can be rendered or printed in 3D. Recent 3D printed medical models include skull-base tumors with surrounding vasculature and cranial nerves, spine modeling for the correction of severe scoliosis, and pelvic models for the planning of arthroplasty.
Mount Sinai Hospital stands adjacent to Central Park, Manhattan
More than half a dozen interdisciplinary collaborations have already been formed between the Medical Modeling Core and Mount Sinai clinical departments, including neurosurgery, orthopedics, surgery, otolaryngology, and cardiology. The hospital believes that, with such a range of applications available for the 3D printing service, many Mount Sinai patients—whatever their condition—can benefit from this forward-thinking additive approach, and in good time too. “We’re unique because we can leverage our technological tools with the expertise of radiology and the printing lab to complete projects on a rapid time scale,” said Dr. Costa. “We’re talking about days as opposed to weeks. Mount Sinai is a large institution with a high volume of cases and our patients will benefit from 3D modeling.”
The new Rapid Prototyping Center at Mount Sinai contains four 3D printers, as well as a laser cutter for producing patient-specific neuroanatomy for pre-operative planning. The hospital reports that its 3D printing materials include gypsum powder base made of plastic, polyamide (nylon), epoxy resin, wax, photopolymers, and polycarbonate, suggesting that, of the four 3D printers, some may be FDM and some SLA/DLP. Mount Sinai says that its engineers can use this range of 3D printing filaments and materials to fabricate medical models and functional parts for a wide range of applications.
Finally, Mount Sinai has also reported that its new 3D printing capabilities could benefit the hospital’s finances, as well as its patients.