The Stratasys team has developed a ground-breaking radiopaque material called RadioMatrix that can further enhance medical practice and studies. Now, doctors, researchers and labs can print incredibly accurate medical models that highlight intricate structures when viewed through medical imaging technologies such as X-Ray or Computed Tomography (CT).
How does it work?
Medical Imaging technology utilizes the radio density of the tissue and will assign it a certain grayscale brightness based on that density. For example, bone is denser than fat so it will appear brighter on the scan. Due to this principle, designers can add specific amounts of the RadioMatrix material to a PolyJet 3D printed model which is using the Vero family of materials. The designer can assign specific Hounsfield (HU) values to the individual material slices in order to give the part specific grayscale contrast when viewed as a CT or X-Ray scan.
Currently available PolyJet materials cover only 5% of the total dynamic range of the HU scale. RadioMatrix targets this market by covering a much greater range. The increase in dynamic range available with RadioMatrix results in its ability to precisely illustrate intricacies within these structures.
Why is this useful?
This material will allow the medical industry to assist both training and treatment planning. RadioMatrix brings DICOM images to the real world. Clinicians can now highlight specific anatomies within the model so surgeons and medical students can practice procedures that require contrast media. In addition to medical professionals, medical device manufacturers can test, demo, calibrate and tune their medical devices without the need to expose their researchers to unneeded radiation.
RadioMatrix introduces us to the ability to take a scan out of the 2D space and bring it into a 3D world. This gives students, patients, researchers and other medical professionals the ability to gain a new perspective and ultimately further the advancement of medical tooling, education and treatments.