New Realistic ‘Mikoto’ 3D Printed Medical Simulator Robot Developed in Japan

Realistic 'Mikoto' 3D printed medical training robot developed in Tottori, Japan

Another new healthcare simulation manikin, this time out of Japan, as reported by 3D printer and 3D printing news website 3ders.org, which focuses primarily on endotracheal intubation, gastrointestinal endoscopy, and sputum suctioning. The new device was a collaborative project between Tmsuk R&D Inc., a medical venture firm based in Tottori Prefecture and the Tottori University Hospital in Japan.

Mikoto, which is the Japanese word for “life,” is an extremely lifelike medical simulation robot that was specifically developed to help train young doctors, medical students, and emergency care workers. Not only does the 3D printed robot look and feel real, it is also equipped with special sensors that allow it to give real-time feedback to trainees—in the form of saying “ouch” and gagging. At first glance, it’s easy to mistake the robot for a real boy, as all of its features are uncannily lifelike. Even its interiors are anatomically accurate, as its tongue, esophagus, and windpipe were all based on a patient’s actual organs. In making the simulation robot, the Tmsuk team transformed digital images of the patient’s organs into 3D printed models.

As we’ve seen, the medical sector is turning increasingly towards realistic 3D printed models to train surgeons and simulate medical procedures. In Japan, where most medical learning is still done through textbooks, simulations are also gaining in popularity, as they offer hands-on experience and training, though the simulation models are still relatively limited in their scope. That is, while many medical schools and hospitals are equipped with simulation centers, many of the current training devices and “dolls” are much more rigid than real patients, which creates a discrepancy between what doctors are trained to do and what they actually do when they encounter a real patient.


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Dr. Toshiya Nakano, a neurologist at the University of Tottori’s faculty of medicine, added: “Young doctors used to learn the ropes gradually by observing senior doctors at work and then trying their hand at operating on actual patients. Such styles of training are no longer acceptable. Ensuring patient safety is a top concern.”

The new Mikoto robot thus marks a remarkable step forward for medical simulation equipment. Mikoto is not designed for all types of simulations, however, but is built for three main procedures: endotracheal intubation (a process wherein a patient’s airway is forced open by a tube in the windpipe), gastrointestinal endoscopy (where internal organs are checked using a flexible fiber-optic camera tube), and sputum suctioning. As mentioned, Mikoto is equipped with various sensors which can alert users if they are putting too much pressure on the robot, or if they are choking it. At the end of the simulation, the 3D printed robot also issues a score for the simulation, which is based on data obtained through the sensors as well as the length of the procedure.


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Transsphenoidal Tumor Resection Surgery Simulator from Medprin

tumor surgery simulator

Medprin Biotech GmbH is a high-tech enterprise specializing in R & D and manufacturing of human tissue regenerative implantable medical devices. Recently they provided this video series on a new Transsphenoidal Tumor Resection Surgery Simulator. The solid, highly realistic training model overcomes the disadvantage of the traditional surgical training, saves training cost and time, lowers surgical risk of the new surgeons, improves the quality of the medical teaching and training.

About Medprin

MEDPRIN BIOTECH is a high-tech enterprise co-founded by outstanding biomedicine scientists in September 2008, specialized in R & D, production and sales of regenerative medicine materials and regenerative implantable medical devices. MEDPRIN aims to become global leader in the field of implantable medical devices, relying on amazing capacity to provide excellent products for the patients worldwide based on biological 3D printing technology and nano-bionics technology, so MEDPRIN will accurately and efficiently manufacture more new implantable medical devices for human tissue recovery, replacement and regeneration, in accordance with the enterprise cultures featured in “innovation, cooperation and mutual love” and the quality policy to play a leading role in science & technology capacity and quality and constantly keep sound integrity to save more lives.

More on the Medprin website!

Remedy Simulation Provides Custom Manufacturing for Pre-Surgery Market

remedy simulation group

At IMSH 2016 HealthySim was able to learn more about Remedy Simulation Group which provides custom manufactured simulated learning products for the pre-surgery market place. 3d printing is a complicated process which involves a lot of learning — and for those clinical programs that want to have a 3d printed model of specific anatomy direct from CT scans of their patient, Remedy Sim is the place to go! Check out our 2016 interview to learn more about their Rapid Anatomy printing and other product innovations:

About Remedy Simulation Group

Simulation and Innovative Manufacturing Remedy Simulation Group uses the best combination of old school production methods and cutting edge technology providing solutions to the medical community. Remedy offers our own line of Medical Simulation products developed from customer input. We build all products in the United States and provide the same innovative production methods to medical startups and other medical simulation companies via Contract Manufacturing. Speed and cost are addressed with the use of cutting edge 3D printing equipment. Our Rapid Anatomy branded service allows us to develop products faster and provide the medical community with custom patient anatomy in a physical form you can hold and explore. At Remedy Simulation Group we look forward to working with you to Improve the Standard of Practice!

“Venous” Venipuncture & IV Administration Trainer

Remedy’s simulation product, “Venous” can be used to practice basic venipuncture and IV administration skills. “Venous” can be attached to a standardized patient as well as a mannequin and can be positioned on different parts of arm and hand to simulate various points of entry. Hard backing exists to prevent unwanted needle puncture. The skin and single vein are durable and realistic and can endure repeated needle sticks. This trainer provides realistic blood flashback and blood can be made simply with water and food coloring. “Venous” has replaceable parts and is an economical option for simulating basic venipuncture and IV administration skills.

Rapid Anatomy:

  • Ideal for pre-surgical planning
  • Experience patient anatomy in a 3D physical model
  • All files are submitted and stored per HIPPA regulations
  • All projects are reviewed by a professional Radiologist to assure accuracy

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3D-Printed Hearts — A Training Tool for Canadian Surgeons via Norfolk News

3d printed heart

Interesting article today out of Canada and the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, which is working with 3D printing technology to help with clinical education:

About a dozen trainees — from Canada and such countries as Norway, Oman, Mexico and the United States — have come to watch master surgeons demonstrate the highly complicated techniques used to repair a number of congenital heart abnormalities and to safely practise those skills on models of their own. Three-dimensional copies have been created of five hearts from real infants with cardiac anomalies using a high-tech 3D-printer, which almost perfectly reproduces the organ’s structure using a photopolymer resin, based on sophisticated MRI and CT imaging.

“Each of the models represents a very specific form of disease that is very different,” says Dr. Glen Van Arsdell, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Sick Kids. “I can look at the model and tell you what the diagnosis is.” The 3D-printed hearts — some orange, others whitish in colour — were produced by Dr. Shi-Joon Yoo, a cardiac radiologist at the hospital.

Depending on its size, a duplicate of a child’s heart can take anywhere from four to 12 hours to produce, as layer upon layer of the resin is built up, he says. While the current cost is somewhat prohibitive – estimated at about $2,000 per model — Yoo says the technology means hundreds of copies can be printed after imaging a single child’s heart to demonstrate a particular defect.

“Anybody can practise on the same structure, so that is the real value of that.” Van Arsdell says the trainees have come to Toronto to learn procedures that would typically take years to learn by watching and assisting senior surgeons before they would be allowed to perform the operation on their own. For some, such expertise isn’t available in their home countries.

Read the full article on the Norfolk News website!

3D Printed Anatomy To Revolutionize Medical Training

Check out this amazing story coming out of Australia where 3D Printers are being used to create anatomical models for medical education!

3d printed anatomy

From the Monash University Website:

“The creators of a unique kit containing anatomical body parts produced by 3D printing say it will revolutionise medical education and training, especially in countries where cadaver use is problematical.

The ‘3D Printed Anatomy Series’, developed by experts from Monash University, is thought to be the first commercially available resource of its kind. The kit contains no human tissue, yet it provides all the major parts of the body required to teach anatomy of the limbs, chest, abdomen, head and neck.

Professor Paul McMenamin, Director of the University’s Centre for Human Anatomy Education, said the simple and cost-effective anatomical kit would dramatically improve trainee doctors’ and other health professionals’ knowledge and could even contribute to the development of new surgical treatments.

“For centuries cadavers bequested to medical schools have been used to teach students about human anatomy, a practice that continues today. However many medical schools report either a shortage of cadavers, or find their handling and storage too expensive as a result of strict regulations governing where cadavers can be dissected,” he said.

“Without the ability to look inside the body and see the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels, it’s incredibly hard for students to understand human anatomy. We believe our version, which looks just like the real thing, will make a huge difference.”

After scanning real anatomical specimens with either a CT or a surface laser scanner, the body parts are 3D printed either in a plaster-like powder or in plastic, resulting in high resolution, accurate colour reproductions. The kit, which is set to go on sale later this year, could have particular impact in developing countries where cadavers aren’t readily available, or are prohibited for cultural or religious reasons.”

Read the full article on 3D Printed Anatomy from Australia’s Monash University here!


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