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Lincoln Memorial University to harness “unparalleled” potential of 3D printing in veterinary elective

Lincoln Memorial University, Tennessee (LMU) is to use 3D printed models to train students in veterinary medicine. The technology will be used at LMU’s College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM).

Jason Johnson Vice President and Dean of LMU-CVM, said, “Our students will be entering practices such as specialty surgical centers where they will use 3D printers in their surgical planning […]

“Our goal is to prepare competent graduates that are ready to hit the ground running on day one after graduation. Knowledge of this technology will give our students a competitive edge as they enter the workforce.”

A 3D printed dog skull is being used by LMU-CVM students to practice dental cleaning. Image via Lincoln Memorial University
A 3D printed dog skull is being used by LMU-CVM students to practice dental cleaning. Image via Lincoln Memorial University

3D printing in veterinary medicine

The part 3D printing has played in the medical sector is well documented, from 3D printed prosthetics to the treatment of cancer. In the veterinary branch, companies like VetCT (UK), are active in providing 3D printing services to professional veterinarians. Professional veterinarian services like the UK-based Willows Veterinary Centre also make use of 3D printing to treat limb deformities and other such cases. Furthermore, research institutions like Auburn University and the University of Pennsylvania have also explored 3D printing for veterinary surgery.

More than this, as previously reported, the technology has also been important in STEM and veterinary education.

An “unparalleled” potential

At the LMU-CVM, 3D printing will be part of an elective course on veterinary medicine, offered to students in January 2019. The veterinary faculty has an FFF/FDM printer and a resin-based 3D printer. The two 3D printers are currently used to fabricate 3D models of animal anatomy such as tissue, bone, and spine, at the LMU-CVM.  

Dr. Jamie Perkins, Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine at LMU-CVM, said, “The potential to replicate injuries or deformities in animals with 3D printing capabilities is unparalleled.”

A 3D printed example of abnormal pathology in a cat. Image via Lincoln Memorial University
A 3D printed example of abnormal pathology in a cat. Image via Lincoln Memorial University

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Featured image shows a 3D printed example of abnormal pathology in a cat. Image via Lincoln Memorial University



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