An innovative solution for painless healing of children suffering from severe burns
3DZ and Romans Ferrari Pediatric Rehabilitation Center are joining forces to help children suffering from severe burns.
Romans Ferrari Medical Center is a pediatric rehabilitation facility located near Lyon, France, that provides care for children with severe burns, cerebral palsy and polytrauma.
How to take care of a burned face: the classical method
Traditionally, children with facial burns are treated with custom-made splints at the center. These splints are adjusted to the exact shape of the face. Silicone devices are added to the inside of the splints, with unique shapes that act as a massage on the burned area and allow for better healing and scarring, especially on transplanted skin.
However, the manufacture of facial orthotics requires the creation of a mask, a perfect replica of the child’s face.
In order to replicate a face exactly, the traditional method involves molding the face using plaster strips applied directly to the skin. This is a painful and uncomfortable process, putting a strain on already fragile skin. The child experiences a second trauma.
The students of Centrale Lyon come together to find a solution without additional trauma
For the center’s caregivers, the issue was therefore the following: how to ensure healing the skin while avoiding adding trauma to the one the child had already experienced?
This is how the Romans Ferrari center called upon the students of the Ecole Centrale de Lyon through a PAI (Industrial Application Project) for the AMI project: Printed Masks Workshop.
The solutions provided by 3DZ
After being introduced by students from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon, the 3DZ and Romans Ferrari teams were able to consider the solutions that could be provided by 3D technologies.
The objectives were the following:
- To eliminate the trauma of a plaster cast, which is painful and stressful
- To obtain the exact shape and details of the face
- To increase the comfort of the patient
- To improve the comfort of the doctor when taking imprints
The new creation process
Step 1 : Face scanning
Using the Eva scanner from Artec 3D, the caregiver performs a 3D scan of the face.
Step 2: application design digital management
The scanned file is imported into Geomagic’s Freeform software. This is an easy-to-use solution for creating organic shapes. The digital file is extracted, and the patient’s treatment area is marked using the haptic arm. The haptic arm allows to feel the impact on the treated area. A shape based on the geometry of the scan is then created.
Step 3 : Printing
The mask is then printed in PA12 using Fuse 1 from Formlabs. The result is a precise and accurate reproduction of the face. The PA12 is used for its heat resistant properties, necessary for the creation of the splint.
Innovation for quality of care
Innovation lies at the heart of children’s well-being in this project. The Romans Ferrari project is a human project at the heart of a challenge for the future of health.
Scanning replaces plaster casting and modeling replaces manual milling of massage devices.
The advantages that can be retained from the application of 3D printing and technologies in this case are:
- The creation of a relationship of trust between the care team, the patient and his or her family
- An economically feasible process
- A response time in the internal process: in 48 hours
- Being able to relieve the stress of the child and family.
- Being able to manage the growth of the skin
- Facilitating the work of the operator
The future of the project lies in its adaptation to telemedicine: to be able to scan a face and print it remotely to create a compression point splint hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away.
The goal is to find the ideal shapes and model them in order to obtain a scientific documentation base and, eventually, be able to deal with larger body parts.
Global Industrie Awards
The collaboration between 3DZ and Romans Ferrari was honored at the Global Industrie trade fair. The collaboration was nominated in the “exemplary partnership” category of the Global Industries Awards. It is with great pride that the 3DZ France teams received this award.
Proud of this partnership, Patrick Ferraris, president of 3DZ France, concludes: “We can see that this world is changing. When you see what we are able to cure and invent thanks to what we have developed in the complete 3D production chain, it’s just magical.”
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