Banu Kose is a researcher and lecturer with the background in Physics Engineering (BSc), Genetics Engineering (MSc) and Biomedical Engineering (Ph.D.). She has six years of experience with 3D anatomical modeling, 3D printing, surgical planning, medical device design, finite element analysis, and cardiovascular engineering, as well as four years of experience in teaching medical imaging physics at Istanbul Medipol University.
Banu, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
When I was studying my MSc project, I was working on the flow simulation with patient-specific virtual artery models. I wanted to validate my simulations by creating a closed-loop circulatory system in an experimental setup by converting the virtual models into physical forms. In this process, I first involved 3D modeling and rapid prototyping. My first aim was to place replicas of arteries in this experimental setup.
What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?
The first things I printed were the models of two pediatric pulmonary arteries (pre-surgery and after surgery models). They were printed on an FDM printer. I had used them in a medical congress when explaining a surgical method. After I realized how much attention it was, my interest in printers became accelerated.
How does 3D Printing apply to cardiovascular radiology and surgery?
The treatment of complex heart disease requires a deep understanding of the 3D relationships of cardiac structures. The complexity of circulatory system disease has led researchers to search for novel imaging methods to evaluate the spatial relationships in malformed intracardiac structures. Although the results are quite good with novel medical imaging methods of radiology, it is limited on the 2D screen of the monitor. With the image processing methods used for 3D modeling, better reconstructions are created with the existing systems of the devices. However, they cannot be sufficient in some complex cases. Through 3D printing, additional detailed information is provided for evaluating and planning the repair method.
Typically, multi-slice imaging techniques (CT, MRI, 3D Echo, etc.) are used as the source datasets to segment the anatomy to virtual preoperative models. These are the sources for 3D printed anatomical models. 3D printed cardiac models can enhance the management of patients by improving interventional and surgical planning and lead to patient-specific device designs for individual cardiac defects.
How is Additive Manufacturing helping?
It provides concrete examples that will help to make decisions even in the pre-surgical planning phase. The physical acquisition of the malformed heart, the planning of the surgery, the training of the operation team, and the design of customized biomaterials became a necessary stage, and AM has helped this a lot. For the preparation of patient-specific implants, the creation of prototypes, engineering in medical device studies and test setups, AM is definitely in the list of musts.
What are some of the challenges you’re facing using this technology?
Because we work with amorphous organic structures, I had some troubles with the models in some cases. The separation of support parts, the risk of rupture during production, the risk of tearing in the post-process were not easy with tortuous organic structures.
Afterward, we got rid of the problems in time. The only difficulty I’m having when working is to tolerate the smell of molten resin 🙂
Do you have any (fun or not) story about the company or your career to share with us?
The first day I tried to learn how to work with the Projet 260 C printer, I was so focused on the subject that I did not hear the fire drill in the building. I was excited to print my first colour model in the print room when the entire building was emptied. Those waiting outside the building were aware of my absence, and I was not aware of what was going on until the firefighters came and got me out.
Another funny memory in the case of a very thin congenital coarctation of the aorta. When I printed my first 3D print of this aorta model, I took it impatiently. But since I didn’t do curing yet, the model was shattered, and after a few seconds of life on my palm, it had turned into dust back.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman in 3D Printing?
At the university I teach, I am trying to support the interest and success of my female students. I am proud of the success of my female students who are very creative and dedicated in the field with their innovative research projects.
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
It’s a great feeling to know that even children can design the objects they dream and produce all these objects physically. It seems to me to show that there are a lot of things that they can do by nurturing and encouraging their creativity to speed up our progress towards unlimited innovations in the future.
What do you consider game-changing technologies in Additive Manufacturing?
As someone who has already worked with the medical benefits of AM, I guess we will all be surprised at what we will do in the near future with bio-printing technology and artificial organs.
What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you?
I used to watch a cartoon when I was a kid. If the cat in the movie makes a drawing, that thing was becoming real. A wall to block the enemy or a bicycle to go around or a seat to relax. If I were a superhero, I’d like to have the ability of this cat. Actually, I have this ability now. I can create many objects that I’ve designed for myself. When I was a kid, it was a miracle. My dream came true!
What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?
While I believe that the innovations in the field of bio-printing will move fast, we know that we are going to meet the things we can’t even dream of. A very curious and creative youth has already taken action.
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?
I think the way to make more women in this field is to be a good role model.
It is my real duty to show my students to see what they can do, to explain how they can contribute to production, design or development in as many areas as we cannot count.
Successful and relevant female students are rightly rewarding my efforts.
The more we become and contribute in this field, the more women will be pioneered.
Favorite 3D tool (could be a software, machine, material…you name it)? Materialise 3-Matic
Favorite moment in your day job? When I see that the models we are working on are implemented and there is a meaningful result that works in the clinic, it means invaluable happiness for me.
What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years? In parallel with the developments in material science, I think AM will be included in very new fields and we will continue to be surprised by the developments in creative interdisciplinary combinations with the contribution of creative young people.
Another inspiring woman you’d like us to interview? Karen de Leener / Materialise Application Engineer / Belgium