Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and MIT have developed 3D printed shields to protect the gastrointestinal tract from the side effects of radiotherapy.
Using CT scans, the devices can be custom printed to suit each patient’s anatomy. The materials they’re made of contain high atomic number elements that help to shield tissues from gamma and X-rays. Radiotherapy can be highly effective at targeting tumors and helping to shrink them. However, it can also have significant consequences for nearby healthy tissues. The side effects can be particularly pronounced in the delicate tissues of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, and range from esophagitis and proctitis to mucositis.
“It’s not uncommon for gastroenterologists to be called in to consult on a case to support a patient who is experiencing side effects of radiation in the esophagus, small intestine or anywhere else in the gastrointestinal tract,” said C. Giovanni Traverso, a researcher involved in the project, via a press release. “When we treat patients with radiation, we do our best to minimize the area of healthy tissue that receives radiation and break up treatment into small doses, but it’s a fine balance. We want to administer the most dose we can to […]
Above: PepsiCo food, snack, and beverage product line-up/Source: PepsiCo PepsiCo turned to tooling with 3D printing...