Samsung Medical Center makes progress in 3D-based liver transplant for infants

2021.11.15 15:21:20 | 2021.11.15 15:22:41

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Samsung Medical Center has customized 3D printing for faster and safer liver transplantation for newborns whose body is too small to receive an adult liver.

During the 50th Asian Transplantation Week 2021 hosted by Korean Society for Transplantation last month, the hospital’s organ transplant center released its own 3D printing technology to create the abdominal cavity model of a pediatric receiver to allow easier and affordable transplant.

The abdominal cavity model was 3D printed to test whether the planned liver graft fit the recipient`s small body, and this facilitated surgical planning and procedures, particularly in the prevention of large-for-size syndrome.

The modeling to completion took a total of 9 hours, reducing the manufacturing time by one fifth compared to previously published studies, the center’s pediatric transplant team said. The shortened time helps to reduce the risk in an emergency liver transplant situation involving a small-sized infant recipient from a brain-dead donor.

In a real operative situation, the team was able to print a liver graft from the donor at the actual size for an infant aged 4 months and weighing 7 kg under the 3D printed model.

“3D printing usually takes too long to produce, so it was thought to be less cost effective, but the technology developed by our team allows surgeons to see the results on the same day, which is a great help when planning challenging operations such as pediatric liver transplantation, said Professor Choi Gyu-seong.

Samsung Medical Center has successfully performed a total of 14 pediatric liver transplants using its 3D printing technology.

By Lee Byung-moon and Minu Kim

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