German healthcare company Siemens Healthineers has partnered with leading Israeli 3D printing company Stratasys to improve computed tomography (CT) imaging.
Stratasys will produce customized CT phantoms – special models that simulate areas of the human body that are used to ensure the correct functioning of CT scanners and allow doctors to assess the devices’ radiation dose and image quality.
The project will use Stratasys’ RadioMatrix material, which is used to 3D print medical models that are visible in X-rays and CT scans.
The Rehovot-based company will initially produce 3D printed phantoms for smaller anatomies of the head and neck region and eventually move on to producing larger and more complex anatomies.
The first phase of the project will culminate with the 3D printing of a heart and an entire human torso model that can be accurately scanned using X-rays and CT.
The two companies believe the project will allow device manufacturers and academic institutions to replace human cadavers with 3D printed structures in certain cases.
“The current limitations of imaging phantoms have long been a challenge for the radiology community,” said Erez Ben Zvi, Vice President Medical at Stratasys.
“This partnership with Siemens Healthineers will allow us to jointly explore the enormous possibilities of our radiopaque materials and 3D printing technologies to overcome these obstacles.”