Jun 22, 2015 | By Alec

While the medical world is eagerly awaiting 3D bioprinted innovations, one American/Israeli studio reminds us that doctors and hospitals can benefit from 3D printed technology in more ways than one. For Milestone-Studio have just shared a preview of a very interesting kit that could save a lot of lives: the Vista Dental’s OncoLight Oral Lesion Screening Kit, that could be used to catch oral lesions that can become cancerous early and thus greatly increase the survival rate of people everywhere.

Milestone-Studio is a multidisciplinary design studio founded back in 2009 by designer Oded Shorer and currently operates out of Brooklyn, NY and Tel Aviv, Israel. While tackling a lot of different projects across the specialisms of  concept development, industrial design and technological / innovative projects, this 3D printing project is a very remarkable one. As they explain to 3ders.org, oral cancer rates are high; with up to 640.000 new cases being diagnosed throughout the world every year, 40,000 of which are in the US. And that number is expected to grow.

‘The survival rate after 5 years for people newly diagnosed with oral cancer is about 65%. A 50% increase in the number of new diagnoses worldwide annually of oral cancer is predicted during the next 20 years,’ they explain. Now early detection is key for a good chance of survival; for a five year period, early diagnosed cased feature a survival rate of more than 90%, and that is exactly what Oded Shorer and his team are after. ‘Vista Dental's OncoLight Oral Lesion Screening Kit will improve early detection of oral abnormalities by reducing false positives and improving lesion visibility (sensitivity and specificity). It also will be non-staining, non-toxic, palatable, and affordable,’ they explain.

And indeed, it seems like this kit has everything you need. It includes an illumination device that can be used to locate cancerous lesions in conjunction with a fluorescent dye and safety glasses. ‘Following identification of oral mucosal abnormalities (lesions) by conventional manual and visual dental examination, the OncoLight is used to quickly monitor and evaluate these lesions in patient populations at increased risk for oral cancer,’ they explain. Doctors, dentists and oral specialists can simply insert the light into the oral cavity, and inspect the tissues of the lips, gingiva, tongue, cheeks, palate, uvula and tonsils. The light, which may be inserted into the oral cavity, will be used to locate dysplastic and cancerous oral mucosal tissues of the lips, gingiva, tongue, cheeks, palate, uvula, and tonsils. It is reportedly a perfect and easy to use identification tool medical professionals.

And what’s more, 3D printing means it can stay affordable. To realize the designs for the OncoLight Oral Lesion Screening Kit, Milestone-Studio closely collaborated with Bold Machines, which you will doubtlessly know for its owner Bre Pettis. The co-founder and former CEO of Makerbot, Pettis has recently started 3D printing incubation company Bold Machines in a quiet street in Brooklyn, where he has designed all manner of interesting 3D printed concepts – typically in collaboration with Stratasys. Only last week, we saw them working on a very interesting pocket square design.

This cancer lesion kit was no different. ‘Bold machines helped print the accurate pre-molding prototype parts of the product for ergonomic, functional and styling purposes.  They also provided a fast turnaround on model post processing/finishing and feedback on areas for improvement,’ Milestone-Studio says. All parts were 3D printed using a Connex3/Objet 500 3D printer. ‘The results were as close as possible to reality and we actually used the Alpha prototype charger electronics with the printed objects,’ they write. Now let’s hope they can get it to doctors and dentists as soon as possible.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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