Jan 26, 2018 | By Tess

An event on Thursday, February 1 will mark the launch of the new £21 million National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) at the Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) in the UK. The center, which will be used to develop and test out new surgical technologies and methods, will also be equipped with 3D printing technologies for the production of bespoke surgical models.

Within the UK, nearly one third of hospital admissions result in some sort of surgical procedure and roughly 4.7 million operations take place every year. For anyone who has ever undergone surgery or has a loved one who has, you’ll know how truly life-changing (even life-saving) it can be.

With medical technologies continually advancing, the scope of what can be accomplished on the operating table is only growing and improving. The new NIHR center will be dedicated to not only developing new surgical practices but also to ensuring their safety and reliability in a transparent way.

The inauguration of the medical center next week will feature a number of talks as well as a healthcare-inspired artistic installation.

The installation, called “Making the Invisible Visible,” was created by Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children resident Sofie Layton, Dr. Giovanni Biglino from the Bristol Heart Institute, and sound artist Jules Maxwell. The piece features a number of 3D printed models of congenital heart disease accompanied by a soundtrack of medical talk, MRI sounds, and a mother speaking about her child’s heart surgery.

The multi-media artwork not only captures the importance of lifesaving congenital heart surgery, but also highlights how technologies such as 3D printing are being adopted within the medical field to improve pre-surgical planning. Bespoke 3D printed models are being used more and more to prepare surgeons for a particular patient’s case. By familiarizing themselves with a tactile version of the patient’s anatomy, surgeons can perform the actual operation more quickly, resulting in better recovery times.

In addition to the installation, the event will feature a debate called “Can surgical research improve health” chaired by Professor Debbie Lawlor. Professor of Surgery Jane Blazeby, from the University of Bristol, will be participating in the debate and will discuss how new surgical practices are introduced, evaluated, and monitored in the field.

“There is an urgent need to improve how innovative surgical and invasive procedures are introduced and monitored in the NHS—we are working hard to do this,” said Professor Blazeby. Patients and families of patients will also be in attendance to speak about their personal experiences with surgery.

Finally, Professor Gianni Angelini, a British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Bristol, will give a lecture entitled “I’m a heart surgeon—should you trust me?” which will investigate his own experiences as a leading heart surgeon. “This is an exciting opportunity for members of the public to hear about new advances in heart surgery and how cardiovascular research improves patients care,” he said.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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