A baby in South America was born with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, a rare congenital neurological disorder that comes with many consequences. “The 3D technologies from CTI were used as a reference for (the) doctor to recognize complex structures and to plan surgery,” Silva told us.
For those of you unfamiliar with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, it is a disorder that effects usually one side of the brain, as well as the skin of its victim. The disorder is oftentimes associated with seizures, mental retardation, glaucoma, cerebral malformations and tumors, as well as its trademark “port-wine stains” of the face. A malformation of blood vessels usually occurs on one side of the brain, which causes calcification of brain tissue, and loss of nerve cells located in the cerebral cortex.
Children born with the disease have a very high chance of developmental delays and in some cases the development of mental retardation. Many of the symptoms develop as a child gets older, thus if there is a way to correct the disorder early, many of the symptoms may be minimized.
Dr. Hélio Rubens Machado, a neurosurgeon at the Medical School of the University of São Paulo in the city of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP-USP), in São Paulo, Brazil, was recently faced with quite the challenge, in performing surgery on a young child who was born with Sturge-Weber syndrome. With the help of CTI though, he was able to take a 3D scan of the child’s head and brain, and then 3D print it out to use as a reference prior to, and during surgery.
The 3D print enabled Dr. Machado, to perform a successful surgery, because of the detailed tangible replica he had to work with. This is just one more way that 3D printing has aided in and allowed for a successful surgery within the medical field. This technology has only been available for several years, and we are beginning to see a more mainstream use for it among surgeons. It should be interesting to see how much more advanced this technology becomes over the course of the next few years….
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!