How Australia is using 3D printing to improve cranial reconstruction
As part of a new procedure using s...
The human brain is a powerful, yet fragile organ that is completely dependent on a solid skull to keep it protected.
As part of a new procedure using stem cells and advanced 3D printing technology, a team of Australian scientists is developing new ways for patients in need of cranial reconstruction to regrow parts of their skull.
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Most of these patients either had their skull badly damaged in a serious head injury or were born with a skull-related deficiency. As a result, this new procedure would have a piece of bone removed and later reimplanted.
Cranial reconstruction is often a difficult process, in particular for patients with severely-damaged skulls. In addition to the damage that has occurred, some have had pieces of skull removed for surgery or to relieve pressure on swollen brain tissue.
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Furthermore, surgeons currently often use titanium plates, plastics or ceramics during this operation, which can lead to infection.
With the help of a A$2 million grant from the Western Australia State Government, the 3D printed cell-based skull replacement may possibly increase the success rate of the procedure, and the quality of life for patients following the intense surgery.
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As studies on 3D printed stem cell cultures continue, the research team at Western Australia’s Royal Perth Hospital is focused on making strides toward improving the results of these cranial reconstructive operations, all while making it more time friendly and cost effective.
This could potentially become a game-changer in cranial reconstruction.
“This project highlights some of the innovative and groundbreaking research that is under way in Western Australia’s public health system, and the commitment of the Government to supporting this crucial work,” said Australian Health Minister Kim Hames.
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Jvion launches AI-powered map to tackle mental health crisis
Clinical AI company Jvion has launched an interactive map of the US that highlights areas that are most vulnerable to poor mental health.
The Behavioral Health Vulnerability Map uses Jvion's AI CORE™ software to analyse public data on social determinants of health (SDOH) and determine the vulnerability of every US Census block group.
Vulnerability refers to the likelihood that residents will experience issues like self-harm, suicide attempts or overdoses. The map also identifies the most influential social determinants in each region, to show the social and environmental conditions that contribute to mental illness.
As an example, the map shows that Harrison County in Mississippi has a 50% higher suicide rate than the rest of the state. It also shows a high percentage of individuals in the armed forces at a time when active duty suicides are at a six-year high, along with a high prevalence of coronary artery disease, arthritis, and COPD, all chronic illnesses that are linked to a higher suicide risk.
The map also shows Harrison County has a high percentage of Vietnamese Americans, who studies suggest have high rates of depression and may be less likely to seek help from mental health professionals.
The map was built using the same data and analytics that Jvion used to create the COVID Community Vulnerability Map, which was launched towards the start of the pandemic.
With this new map, Jvion is aiming to tackle the growing mental health crisis in the US. “At a time when so many Americans are struggling with their mental health, we’re proud to offer a tool that can help direct treatment resources to the communities that need it most,” said Dr John Showalter, MD, Jvion’s chief product officer, who led the development of the map.
“For too long, the healthcare industry has struggled to address social determinants of health, particularly in the context of behavioural health. Our hope is that by surfacing the social and environmental vulnerabilities of America’s communities, we can better coordinate our response to the underlying conditions that impact the health and wellbeing of people everywhere.”