Developed from real patient case study specimens, the 3D printed anatomy model pathology series introduces an unmatched level of realism in human anatomy models. Each 3D printed anatomy model is a high-fidelity replica of a human cadaveric specimen, focusing on the key morbidity presentations that led to the deceasement of the patient. With advances in 3D printing materials and techniques, these stories can come to life in an ethical, consistently reproduceable, and easy to handle format. Ideal for the most advanced anatomical and pathological study, and backed by authentic case study details, students, instructors, and experts alike will discover a new level of anatomical study with the 3D printed anatomy model pathology series.
A 56-year-old male presented with a generalized seizure. He remained unconscious after this seizure and later died. A collateral history revealed 6 months of progressive confusion, short-term memory loss and personality change.
Coronal sections of the brain postmortem show a 4cm necrotic and hemorrhagic tumor. Tumor invasion from the inferior frontal lobe into the lateral ventricle is apparent. Meningeal spread is evident on examination of the posterior aspect of the specimen.
Gliomas are the second most common cancer of the central nervous system after meningiomas. The term glioma refers to tumors that are histologically similar to normal glial cells i.e. astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and ependymal cells. They arise from a progenitor cell that differentiates down one of the cell lines. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM; also called glioblastoma) develop from the astrocyte lineage. GBMs can arise in the brain de novo or evolve from lower grade astrocytoma or oligodendrogliomas. GBM is often referred to as grade IV astrocytoma. They are differentiated histologically from anaplastic astrocytoma by necrotizing tissue surrounded by anaplastic cells as well as by the presence of hyperplastic blood vessels.
GBMs are more common in males. It is most diagnosed in the sixth decade of life. Genetic risk factors include neurofibromatosis type 1 and Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Previous brain radiotherapy is also associated with increased risk of GBM. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the GBM, but may include any of the following:
- Persistent headaches
- Double or blurred vision
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in mood and personality
- Changes in ability to think and learn
- New onset of seizures
- Speech difficulty of gradual onset
Diagnostic tools include computed tomography (CT scan) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Around 50% of these tumors occupy more than one cerebral hemisphere. GBMs commonly extend into the ventricular walls or meninges, and thus into the central spinal fluid (CSF). Spinal cord spread is uncommon.
Metastasis beyond the central nervous system is rare. Tumor growth causes cerebral oedema leading to increased intra-cranial pressure. These are biologically aggressive tumors, and if left untreated survival is typically 3 months. The mainstay of treatment for GBMs is surgery, followed by radiation and chemotherapy.
Advantages of 3D Printed Anatomical Models
- 3D printed anatomical models are the most anatomically accurate examples of human anatomy because they are based on real human specimens.
- Avoid the ethical complications and complex handling, storage, and documentation requirements with 3D printed models when compared to human cadaveric specimens.
- 3D printed anatomy models are far less expensive than real human cadaveric specimens.
- Reproducibility and consistency allow for standardization of education and faster availability of models when you need them.
- Customization options are available for specific applications or educational needs. Enlargement, highlighting of specific anatomical structures, cutaway views, and more are just some of the customizations available.
Disadvantages of Human Cadavers
- Access to cadavers can be problematic and ethical complications are hard to avoid. Many countries cannot access cadavers for cultural and religious reasons.
- Human cadavers are costly to procure and require expensive storage facilities and dedicated staff to maintain them. Maintenance of the facility alone is costly.
- The cost to develop a cadaver lab or plastination technique is extremely high. Those funds could purchase hundreds of easy to handle, realistic 3D printed anatomical replicas.
- Wet specimens cannot be used in uncertified labs. Certification is expensive and time-consuming.
- Exposure to preservation fluids and chemicals is known to cause long-term health problems for lab workers and students. 3D printed anatomical replicas are safe to handle without any special equipment.
- Lack of reuse and reproducibility. If a dissection mistake is made, a new specimen has to be used and students have to start all over again.
Disadvantages of Plastinated Specimens
- Like real human cadaveric specimens, plastinated models are extremely expensive.
- Plastinated specimens still require real human samples and pose the same ethical issues as real human cadavers.
- The plastination process is extensive and takes months or longer to complete. 3D printed human anatomical models are available in a fraction of the time.
- Plastinated models, like human cadavers, are one of a kind and can only showcase one presentation of human anatomy.
Advanced 3D Printing Techniques for Superior Results
- Vibrant color offering with 10 million colors
- UV-curable inkjet printing
- High quality 3D printing that can create products that are delicate, extremely precise, and incredibly realistic
- To improve durability of fragile, thin, and delicate arteries, veins or vessels, a clear support material is printed in key areas. This makes the models robust so they can be handled by students easily.