“3-D Imaging in Medicine” Display Features AP Surface-Scan Models


For the past two weeks, the Hage Atrium in the subway level of the Siebens Building in Rochester has featured 3-D anatomic modeling, touching nearly every medical specialty at Mayo.

“Medicine is very visual, and 3-D models represent another way to look inside a patient, look at disease,” says Jonathan Morris, M.D., Co-Director of the 3-D Modeling Laboratory in Rochester. “It takes a 3-D image on a two-dimensional surface and makes it real. Surgeons can hold, manipulate, and see a specific patient’s anatomy with a clarity that cannot be replicated in two dimensions on a computer. This, in turn, shows them the path the surgery should take.”

Anatomic Pathology Provides Surface-Scan Models
“The Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and Anatomy are working hard to incorporate 3-D scanning and printing into our medical school curriculum,” says Robert Pooley, Ph.D., a diagnostic radiologist at Mayo’s Florida campus.

The AP display is one of many at the "3-D Imaging in Medicine" event in Hage Atrium, Siebens Building, subway level. The entire display will be open to the public and staff until the end of July.

The technology offers the possibility to replicate rare and unusual specimens only available at the Rochester campus and make them available to students at other sites.

Joseph Maleszewski, M.D., a pathologist in the Division of Anatomic Pathology, adds, “Surface scanning of specimens literally and figuratively adds a new dimension to our ability to capture and archive these amazing specimens.

Joseph Maleszewski, M.D.
Joseph Maleszewski, M.D.

“It provides us with new opportunities to educate other health care providers both inside and outside Mayo. The unique specimens we see here are often used as teaching specimens at medical conferences around the world. Additionally, it opens doors for us to dialogue with patients about their diseases. We’re finding that many of our patients are interested in learning more about their diseases and want to see photos of their diseased tissue. Being able to produce a non-biohazardous replica of a patient’s resected specimen offers a means by which we can introduce ourselves to the patient, explain our role in their care, and answer questions from a different perspective.”

The models have been—and are—used in diagnoses, surgical planning, and prep, and in some cases, a rehearsal before a surgery. Each is unique, representing a specific patient’s anatomy. After resection, surface scanning technology employed in anatomic pathology can be used to capture a 3-D image of the specimen to help understand the surgical margins, best dissection technique, and eventual teaching. These surface-scanned models reproduce a specimen so vividly that they are unparalleled educational tools for patients and health care providers alike.

Program Expands to Arizona and Florida
The display puts into perspective the years of work that have touched nearly every medical specialty at Mayo, and the 3-D anatomic modeling program continues to grow. The demand for 3-D models has led to an expansion of the program to Mayo’s Arizona and Florida campuses, with Rahmi Oklu, M.D., Ph.D., and Dr. Pooley, respectively, leading the new labs.

Incorporating 3-D scanning and printing into the medical school curriculum offers the possibility to replicate rare and unusual specimens only available at the Rochester campus and make them available to students at the other sites.

“With these patient-specific models, we are able to provide integrated, high-quality care to patients with tumors, fractures, malformations and more,” says Jane Matsumoto, M.D., Co-Director of the Rochester 3-D Modeling Laboratory. “This program really brings people together across specialties. It shows there are no boundaries.”

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April Josselyn is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2012. Outside of work, April enjoys the outdoors and being "hockey mom" for her two sports-crazed boys.