Saskatoon neurosurgeon 3D prints replica of patient’s brain

A Saskatoon neurosurgeon has managed to print a 3D replica of a patient’s brain.

Dr. Ivar Mendez, head of surgery at the University of Saskatchewan, worked with a team of engineers to produce the model. It’s an exact replica of a specific patient’s brain, and he says it will let him practice surgeries.

‘I feel that in the next 20, maybe 25 years, we will be able to print biological materials. We may be able to print organs.’ – Dr. Ivar Mendez

Mendez already uses computers in the operating room, and a member of his operating room team is a medical engineer. But completing a 3D brain was more complex, and would allow them to work on the smallest anatomical features of a brain.

“You can imagine it as having a pea inside a sock or balloon,” Mendez said. “It is a complex system.”

Dr. Ivar Mendez now has a 3D model of a brain to use for practising surgery. (Bonnie Allen/CBC News)
The critical part of the model is that it is an exact replica of the person’s brain. If the person has a tumour, it’s able to print a replica of the brain with the tumour. Read more


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