…To facilitate the operation, Kyoto University borrowed a 3D printer from Nagoya City University and printed out full-scale models of the woman’s chest and the left lung. Because locations of bronchi and blood vessels differ between the left and right lungs, the surgeons rehearsed the transplant operation to get an initial idea on how to proceed the transplant before commencing surgery.
The surgery went smoothly. As of May 10, she was discharged from the medical center after having been able to easily walk 10,000 steps in a day.
Of 368 pulmonary transplant cases reported in Japan, living donor transplants account for 40 percent. “The existence of the option of implanting the right lung in the left lung will enable more patients to undergo transplantation,” said Hiroshi Date, a pulmonologist and professor at the hospital.
However further research will be needed to enable other surgeons to perform similar operations.
“More experience and sharing of information will be necessary to generalize the finding,” said Meinoshin Okumura, president of the Japanese Association for Chest Surgery.
3D printing has been used again to help saving people’s life, and it won’t be the last. It is reported that the woman and her husband have now returned to their normal life.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!