At first glance they look like human hearts or lungs, but in reality these organs are the exact replicas made by Lazarus 3D company, a US startup with three-dimensional printing technology that revolutionized the field of operation.
Located in the Houston (Texas) medical center, the largest in the world, Lazarus 3D reproduces personal copies of human organs and tissues printed in three dimensions (3D) from studies that make tomography or MRI patients at deadlines that sometimes do not exceed 24 hours.
This method allows the doctor to simulate complicated surgical procedures with the correct copy of the patient's organ and prepare it before operating it.
The company also creates general prototypes of various body parts for training resident doctors.
Pieces, printed on various types of silicon, mimic the mechanical properties of human organs and tissue characteristics with high levels of detail, including tumor structures that patients may have.
"We adapt the nature of each organ to be soft, elastic or rigid, with the consistency of human tissue," said American scientist and businessman Jacques Zaneveld, founder of Lazarus 3D, to Efe.
"We can have in one model different types of material such as hearts, fats and ligaments, which correspond to the same geometry that humans have," he added.
For Zaneveld, who has a Ph.D in human genetics and molecular studies from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 3D printing technology is a hobby that made him create numbers that he then sold at Anime and science fiction conventions.
Finally, he then focused on his true purpose, developing techniques to improve human health.
"The conventional models on the market are made of rigid material, so I see the need to create soft prototypes that re-create human characteristics and that can be used to perfect operating practices," he said.
The company strives to minimize its model of errors in operations that endanger the lives of patients. In the United States, medical errors are the third cause of death, with more than 250,000 recorded deaths per year, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Zaneveld attributed many errors to the lack of "adequate preparation", because "even the most specialized surgeons can make mistakes", something that solves this revolutionary technology, which allows "realistic practice", with the right material at the right point.
"Being able to make this model for a particular patient is a new opportunity," said Larry Ciscon, president of the 3D Northworks and collaborator near the Houston company.
Lazarus 3D recently won an award from NASAiTech 2018, an initiative from the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), to find innovative ideas to break barriers to the exploration of the future of the Moon and Mars.
The company showed NASA scientists and researchers that the technique for printing models of human organs in 3D could provide solutions to technological challenges in space missions.
In addition to marketing these models with clients and hospitals in the United States, the company distributes them in Mexico, India, China and the United Kingdom and intends to expand its market to other countries in Latin America and throughout the world.