Pioneering Alfred technology is being put to good use in understanding where we come from, in the fields of Anthropology and Palaeontology.
The Alfred is the only hospital in Australia, and one of few in the world, to be able to create three dimensional plastic resin ‘biomodels’ directly from images including angiograms, CT scans, MRI scans and ultrasound.
The technology has been described as “a 3D photocopier that prints out body parts”.
Alfred Neurosurgeon Paul D’Urso heads the research team that has provided biomodels of the skull of the Homo florensiensis, the small human ancestor discovered in Indonesia last year, dubbed the Hobbit by media.
CT scans of the skull were taken by paeleoanthroplologists Prof. Mike Morwood and Prof. Peter Brown from the University of New England, who discovered the H.florensiensis’ skeleton. The CT data was sent to The Alfred biomodelling laboratory to create resin models.
The original skull has since been damaged, so the resin models remain the only perfect example of the hominid’s skull.
The Alfred biomodelling laboratory has been working with BBC and National Geographic to produce more models, which have been used to reconstruct the head of the prehistoric human for international documentary features.
The Alfred BioModelling Laboratory is located in the National Trauma Research Institute and is investigating the use of biomodelling in an acute hospital environment. For further information speak to Gian Lorenzetto on 9207 1801.
Biomodelling technology is being used extensively in Trauma and Neurosurgery, to help surgeons plan and carry out complex orthopaedic surgical cases.
Neurosurgeons are now also able to create high definition models from angiograms, enabling them to use the technology when treating aneurysms.