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United Kingdom : NEW computer software concept to allow clinicians to design and create custom-made 3D printed wrist splints for patients with RA

August 2, 2014

Loughborough University'sAbby Paterson, PhD, has created a computer software concept that will allow clinicians without any experience in Computer Aided Design (CAD) to design and develop tailored 3D printed wrist splints for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

A Loughborough University news release said the 3D printed splints are potentially more affordable than existing splints, and reportedly more comfortable and attractive.

The splints aim to offer joint protection and rest, as well as boost pain relief.

The splints are made by scanning a patient's arm in the appropriate position, and then designing a 3D model splint based on the scan to create a computer model.

The 3D printer can then generate as many splints as required by only touching a button. The splints can feature multiple materials, be any color, and have a lattice design to help in ventilation. The wrist splints can also incorporate any type of fastening the patient requires.

Paterson said : 'I wanted to give clinicians the ability to make splints they have not been able to make before. They can improve the aesthetics, the fit, and integrate extra bits of functionality they couldn t do before as a result of our Additive Manufacturing facilities here at Loughborough University. Thanks to our Objet Connex machine, we can integrate multiple materials in a single splint, such as rubber-like integral hinges or cushioning features, but, more importantly, the specialized software prototype we ve developed will enable clinicians to design these splints for their patients.'

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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