Medical physicists and engineers – using innovation to transform healthcare at UCLH 

07/11/2019 00:00 
A team of medical physicists and engineers are using sci-fi sounding technology to revolutionise healthcare at UCLH. Read on to discover more about the team to mark International Day of Medical Physics.

The Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering uses 3D printing – when a computer prints out a solid object – in a number of ways to improve the care we offer our patients and to support staff in their clinical work.

The team regularly prints out 3D anatomical models of facial and head defects, including broken jaw bones and skulls, where a titanium plate will be needed for reconstruction, from CT scans.

This allows surgeons to study the model in detail and plan the operation accurately. This saves them time when planning the surgery and shortens the length of the operation which is better for patients.

Mingjun Liu, clinical scientist in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, said: “These models help the surgeons to carry out extensive planning prior to the operation. This can significantly shorten operation times, which benefits the patient and frees up theatre time.”

Engineers in the Mechanical Workshop are also putting the 3D printers to good use for practical purposes, including designing and printing parts for patient monitors which are often lost. By printing lost or damaged parts in-house, we are saving £5,000 each year.

The team has also started to design and print more objects, such as bespoke specialised carriages for network ports and cable tidies designed to improve the layout and safety of cables, and a protective funnel for fibre optic and laser cabling which was then mounted to the trolley which transports laser equipment.

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