Motherboard reports on an interesting project developed by LSU Engineering Student Meagan Moore. Moore has created a full-sized 3D printed human body model made from bioplastic. Dubbed ‘Marie,’ this medical model stands at five-foot-one and weighs fifteen pounds.
Marie was created in order to develop more effective radiation treatments for cancer – hence her name. (The model was named after Marie Curie, the famed radiation scientist.) Specifically, Marie will allow researchers in the future “to test real-time radiation exposure and figure out optimal radiation therapy dosing for treating conditions like cancer.” Marie “has a detachable head, and a 36-gallon water storage capacity for up to eight hours.”
Moore explains “Marie is the amalgamation of five full-body scans of women taken at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.” Following these full-body scans, “over the course of 136 hours, LSU’s BigRep Industrial 3D printer churned out Marie. But the 3D printer had to produce Marie in four chunks,” so Moore was forced to use “a combination of soldering, friction stir welding, and sandblasting” to piece Marie fully together. Obviously, Marie is far from the product of bioprinting – but she will greatly help research within the biomedical industry.
Indeed, according to Moore “Marie could potentially [help researchers develop] personalized treatments for people with complex forms of cancer. Children and breast cancer patients have really differing morphology, which is usually very difficult to treat. I find the more we learn about any body, the more complex it’s going to be. We’re still getting medicine wrong on a lot of levels. We have a lot to learn.”
3D printing and projects like Marie are already helping.
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Motherboard