Endrit Ziu, MD, PhD


University of Missouri – Columbia (MU)

The proposed project will generate preliminary a biomechanical quantitative data of thoracolumbar spinal column instability of patients with acute spinal cord injury utilizing a three-dimensional printing and biomechanical studies. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a software application algorithm to guide treatments based on objective biomechanical data.3D printing is a well-established method of rapid prototyping, which has been used, successfully in the manufacturing industry for some time. Previous studies in our lab have validated the accuracy and resolution between 3D printed bones and anatomical specimens to be on the order of 0.1mm. In this study, a Z Corp Z510 3D printer (Z Corporation, Burlington, VT) will be used to produce physical models of patient specific spines with pathologies consistent with acute spinal cord injury developed in the biomechanical testing. Surface representations of spine geometry will be extracted from clinical computed tomography (CT) scans of surgical patients presented to Emergency Room.