Innovative Medical 3D Printing at Tampa General Hospital and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Provides Clearer Map for Surgery

Innovative Medical 3D Printing at Tampa General Hospital and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Provides Clearer Map for Surgery

“We are able to convert medical imaging data into 3D models and these can be used in clinical decision making, medical simulations and training, as well as in patient education,” he said. Summer DeckerPhD, Associate Professor and Director of 3D Clinical Applications for the Department of Radiology at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

This potentially revolutionary technique uses 3D printed facsimiles to better understand treatment and even reduce the risk of invasive and complex surgeries. It allows the assessment of the organ outside the body, which saves time in the operating room and reduces costs. “Thanks to this 3D technology, we can reduce the 11-hour operation to a three-hour operation,” Decker added. “So it allows for safer and more efficient procedures.”

USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Tampa General are the first in Tampa Bay areas and among the first in the country to use this innovative technology. Although this joint 3D printing program began as a research years ago, it has become a valuable medical asset today. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of Morsani College of Medicine, asked the USF Health 3D laboratory team to develop a solution to the international shortage of nasal swab supplies needed for testing on COVID-19. In collaboration with the USF Infectious Diseases Division and the Global Emerging Diseases Institute in Tampa, the team designed and developed an alternative nasopharyngeal swab for COVID testing printed in 3D. Swab accuracy has been verified at several medical facilities throughout the United States, including Tampa General Hospital. To date, more than 75 million tampons have been made in USF’s patented design in more than 50 countries.

A swab is one thing; the heart is different. The artificial version allows doctors and patients to better understand the current problem. So if a patient has a bad heart, doctors can scan it, print it, and work together on a strategy based on the printed model. Equally important, they can place it in the patient’s hands. “It gives our patients and doctors a better understanding of the problem and how best to treat it,” said Dr. Krishna NallamshettyChairman of the Department of Radiology and Associate Professor of Radiology and Cardiology at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Chief of Staff at Tampa General Hospital.

The 3D printed anatomical model or surgical cutting instructions are made using various types of medical imaging, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The 3D printer then creates a copy of the object through a series of compiled layers. This “additive manufacturing” process places extremely thin layers of material in liquid form and joins them together to form a replica of a digital file. This technique allows you to create complex shapes and sizes with a minimum of materials, making it fast and relatively inexpensive.

“It’s true from table to bed in a short period of time, often on the same day,” Decker said. “We can scan a patient, create a computer model of an organ or design a surgical cutting guide, use it to work with all teams, so they know exactly what they need, print it out and then scrub it for surgery. It’s an innovation that helps change the outcome for the patient.” . ”

“Having an exact replica of a patient’s real heart – including defects – is an invaluable tool, especially when it can be created in less than a day,” he said. Jonathan Ford, PhD, Assistant Professor and Biomedical Engineer, Department of Radiology, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Technical Director for 3D Printing, Tampa General Hospital. “It will take about 15 hours for the heart to reproduce on the printer, so before we return in the morning, we can give the printed heart to the surgeon for reference.”

The 3D clinical application team currently owns seven 3D printers for medical purposes. The team has been stationed for the past eight years at the USF Health South Tampa Center for Advanced Healthcare on the Tampa General campus. The team plans to relocate its 3D lab and printers to the hospital’s main radiology department, providing better access for surgeons and other clinicians in Tampa General.

The Decker and USF Health 3D clinical application team was also recognized for their work on 3D printed nasal swabs with inaugural Jack A. Kolosky The Healthcare Innovation Award from Tampa Innovation Partners in 2021. The Kolosky Award is named after retired president of the Moffitt Cancer Center and recognizes healthcare innovation.

In addition, for his pioneering work with a 3D printed swab, Decker was among three members of the USF Faculty of Medicine in June 2021 share national attention with health professionals from across the country – including the President’s Chief Medical Adviser United StatesDr. Anthony Fauci – for being appointed 2021 Champions of Humanistic Care by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

“It’s really about the strength of the cooperation between the USF and the Tampa General, because the work being done here is truly transformational,” he said. John Couris, President and CEO of Tampa General Hospital. “It’s a huge difference for our doctors and our patients.”

Tampa General Hospital, a non-profit academic medical center with 1,041 beds, is one of the largest hospitals in America and provides world-class care as the only center in the region for trauma levels and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the hospital with the highest rating on the market in the ranking of the best hospitals 2021-22 according to US News & World Report and one of the 4 best hospitals in the USA Floridawith five specialties that rank among the best programs in United States. The academic medical center ‘s commitment to developing and developing its team members is recognized by Forbes’ two prestigious 2021 rankings – America’ s Best Employers by State, the third of 100 companies in Florida and the first among health and social organizations and 13.thu nationwide in the ranking of the best American employers for women. Tampa General is the region’s safety net hospital that cares for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal 2020 provided net benefits to the community of more than $ 182.5 million in the form of health care for insured patients, community education and financial support from community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the busiest solid organ transplant centers in the country for adults and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding districts to provide them with the advanced care they need. Tampa General is home to a nationwide accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast. Florida. It is also home to Jennifer Leigh Muma’s neonatal intensive care unit with 82 Level IV beds and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group primary care offices, Kennedy TGH Family Care Center, Brandon Healthplex TGH, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient radiology centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive first-class care from TGH Urgent Care using a network of Fast Track clinics and can even receive home visits in selected areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, using Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first Florida Establish a partnership with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, visit

USF Health’s mission is to anticipate and realize the future of health. These are partnerships between the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the Taneja College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, and the USF Health’s Multidisciplinary Physicians Group. The University of South Florida is a highly impressive global research university dedicated to student success. In the last 10 years, no other public university in the country has grown faster in the national rankings of US News & World Report universities than USF. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Karen Barrera
Deputy Director for Communications and Partnerships
(813) 844-8725 (direct)
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[email protected]

SOURCE Tampa General Hospital


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