Science Odyssey

3-D Printer Could Change Future of Surgery

By Elizabeth Addesso   


Four-year-old Mia Gonzalez had trouble breathing for the first three and a half years of her life. She missed out on daily activities such as dance and preschool, due to frequent colds and pneumonia. She was hospitalized ten times before doctors concluded that Mia suffered from a malformation in her aorta, one of the vessels that pumps blood into the heart. It turned out that her aorta was blocking part of her windpipe, therefore, making it hard to breath. Mia would have to undergo an open heart surgery, one of the hardest surgeries to perform.

          "...A disruptive technology which radically changes how we talk to patients, how we prepare for an operation, how we do the operation and how we teach," Dr. Daniel B. Jones stated about the printers. 3-D printers were invented in 1984, but the usage of these extraordinary printers was common in 2012. 3-D printers are unique machines that can print any object programed on a computer. They range from about anywhere from $100k to $450k; the cost varies depending on the quality of the printing. Hospitals use 3-D printers to print replicas of organs and hearts.  They use the replicas to perform a practice surgery and to make precise marks on where to cut. In this case, they replicated Mia heart, after taking careful MRI and CT, or a CAT scan (a scan used to see bones, blood, and vessels, and soft tissues by sending a series of X-rays to a computer) to get a detailed picture of Mia’s heart and windpipe. They used the replication to practice her surgery.

They were originally going to cut Mia’s left side of her chest, creating a long narrow scar on the left side. However, the longer cut would also mean a longer recovery time. By using the advanced technology of a 3-D printer, they relocated the cut to the right side of Mia’s chest. The incision was predicted to be much smaller than the previous incision scheduled. The recovery time would be much shorter, pleasing both Mia and her mom.

In the future, they envision using the printer to replicate organs that would replace the human organs completely. However, they do not think this technological advancement will be made until 2025. Doctors are also trying to distribute 3-D printers to medical schools to enhance their medical field curriculum.

Years later after Mia’s open heart surgery, she suffered from less colds. She still got colds, but they were not nearly as severe. But more importantly, she performed her first successful dance recital, and was not short of breath at the end. Thanks to the 3-D printer, her open heart surgery proved how the printer is making surgeries easier.  


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What Amazes You About Science?

    What really amazes me about the human body is how all the parts of the body work together. All bones, joints, muscles, and organs work together to make the human body function. The world's animals and food chains really amaze me. It is fascinating how there is just the right amount of animals to keep the food chain in balance. I have seen how the human body works and I experience it because I am a human! It is also amazing to see the food chain happen on shark week and other programs involving animals.
    -Tyler Velleca


    What amazes me about science is that it can extend to about everything in existence. You can go from rocks and minerals to space and the universe. From a flower to the sun. From underground to the highest in the skies. That’s why I’m amazed by science. Because everything and everyone that you can possibly think of is a small part of a huge world known as science. It is endless.
-Ryan Ford


    What amazes me about the human body is how alike we are even though everyone else seems so different. For example, when I was playing with my little cousin I made him laugh. This made me think about how nobody taught him to laugh when he thought something was funny, he just instinctively did it. This was interesting because it showed me something that almost all humans have emotions. So if I feel like someone is completely different than me, I remember that we will always have emotions in common.
-Asher Fritz


Science amazes me because everything in the entire world is science!  If you think about it, we are alive, and here right now because of science.  It surprises me how much science is a part of our life, and how little we notice it.  Science is truly amazing and deserves to take credit for everything it does for us.
-Rachel Diglio


  What amazes me is that the human body can react so quickly and think deeply and do stuff you can’t even imagine. Science of the world is beautiful and what also amazes me is that how many things come from science and how things and objects are made and what things and objects are made up of. Basically everything starts with the science that comes from inside everything. Bottom line: SCIENCE IS EVERYTHING.

   -William Bergin   


     What amazes me me about the human body is how certain diseases or illnesses can link to or cause other diseases or illnesses. For example some scientists say that some gum diseases are linked to and can cause heart disease. The human body is full of questions that have been answered, but can you imagine how many questions are still unanswered or haven’t even been thought of yet? What amazes me about the human body is that is an endless pit of questions and wonders.
-Janna Moina


What amazes me about science is that everything is connected in some way. If it is the body and all the bones, nerves and muscles or the food chain with the predators, prey, decomposers and producers. I know that everything living lives off of something else and so one thing can’t survive without the other. This amazes me because the life of everything goes around in one gigantic circle!

         -Minoli Fernando



What amazes me about the human body is how our brain works for very movement and we never think about it. It amazes me that a girl can survive with half a brain. It is amazing that everything is made out of atoms. I find it mind-boggling that we are in the middle of space all alone for all we know. How can giant spheres just be dangling in nowhere while we are sitting here at school? This is what I find amazing.

          -Angel Wang



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