The ProtoLab supports the development of medical devices for imaging studies. It has completed many projects since its creation in the 1980s. The ProtoLab contains a variety of workspaces for rapid prototyping. The additive manufacturing workspace contains 3D printers and post-processing equipment for rapid development of 3D printed parts. The subtractive manufacturing workspace contains traditional CNC equipment capable of milling plastics and metals. The electronics workspace is for fabricating and testing printed circuit boards. In addition, the ProtoLab has workspaces where users can assemble parts into working medical devices and perform benchtop testing. The ProtoLab has contributed to the development of many new medical devices, including new MRI hardware, imaging targets for quality assurance, models for personalized medicine, and custom solutions for high speed data acquisition. Examples of some of the projects carried out at the ProtoLab can be found below.
Personalized Heart Models
Example of Dr. So’s method for obtaining 3D printed heart model from a patient with a heart arrythmia. (left) Example of a single CT image taken from a stack of images that covers the entire heart. (center) A 3D reconstruction of the patient’s heart reconstructed from the CT image stack. (right) A 3D model suitable for 3D printing. Heart specialists will use the model to plan where to position the pacing leads. Contributed by Dr. Aaron So.
Endorectal Prostate MRI
Development of a multi-modality imaging method for surgical planning in patients with prostate cancer. (left) Examples of 3D-printed components (upper left) and the assembled endorectal probe (lower left) used to obtain high quality MRI images of the prostate. (right) PET/MRI system at St. Joseph’s Health Care London which is being used to develop the multi-modality imaging method. Contributed by Dr. Jonathan Thiessen.
Brain Cooling System
(top) A brain cooling system for treating patients suffering from traumatic brain injury, stroke, and heart attack. (bottom) A sequence of blood flow images obtained from a pig with traumatic brain injury. The images show the reduction in blood flow (ischemia) immediately following the injury (left), the immediate (15 min) recovery in blood flow after treatment with the brain cooling device (middle), and maintenance of normal blood flow for at least 12 h after trauma (right). Provided courtesy of Dr. Ting Lee.
PET Prostate Phantom
Examples of an anatomically accurate device made for PET imaging projects. (a) 3D-printed prostate phantom with two compartments. (b-d) PET images of the phantom loaded with two doses of a PET probe: normal prostate tissue (low PET signal) and prostate cancer lesion (high PET signal).
High-resolution MRI Coil
Examples of a high-resolution MRI coil designed, 3D-printed, and assembled within the ProtoLab.