An Italian research university has adopted Stratasys ’ 3D printing technology to enhance its teaching and planning of surgical practices.

For years, the University of Pavia relied solely on the skill and judgement of its surgeons, but the emergence of 3D technology has seen the school embrace new methods. Using the Objet30 Pro 3D Printer, the university is now producing a range of surgical planning models in super-fine 16 micron layers. Typically these are used for all spleen and kidney surgeries, and around half of its pancreatic surgeries.

Founded in 1361, the university has been committed to offering specialisation in a range of facets, including robotic abdominal surgery and clinical research. The university continues to uphold these standards, aiming to maintain its position as one of Italy’s leading educational institutions. With a particular focus on its medical department, the university holds technical and practical experience at the forefront of its curriculum.

“Working in tangent with our university surgery means that we are continually looking to improve patient care and equipping our surgeons with all the information they require to plan the surgery in detail. This often means seeking out alternative treatment methods,” said Ferdinando Auricchio, Professor of Mechanics of Solids at the university’s Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture. “When evaluating our surgery process we learnt that 3D printing could enable us to produce surgical planning models with the potential to reduce patient-theatre time. This is particularly the case for non-intrusive procedures – those that typically require only a minor incision.”

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