View Full Version : Summary: physical models for veterinary medicine teachingpurposes

07-02-2002, 01:34 AM
The following is a summary of the responses I received regarding
physical models for teaching. Thanks to Jonathan Merritt, Liz Tanner,
Amy Lerner, Dan Baker and Panos Diamantopoulos for their help.

Anita Vasavada

Original message:

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University would
like to obtain physical models that could be used in laboratory
exercises for veterinary students. Preferably these would be models of
animals, which could be used for practice of palpation or surgical
technique (e.g., a thoracic or abdominal cavity simulator). In other
words, they should attempt to replicate the anatomy, texture, and
mechanical response of various tissues. Is anyone in the biomechanics
community working on these types of models or similar tissue surrogates?
Any other information about models for human medicine or tissue
surrogates that could be modified for teaching purposes would be
welcome. As always, I will post a summary of responses.

Anita Vasavada

Hello Anita,

I am aware that the Anatomy department within the Faculty of Veterinary
Science here at Melbourne University is continually looking for similar
physical models. I have forwarded your email to Dr. Chris Philip who is
in charge of much of the anatomy course.

The only models that I am aware of that are in use for anatomy teaching
here are computer-based ones. I personally developed a computer model
of a canine skull which was used for the first time this year to
introduce the bones of the skull. A rendering of the model is available
online here (somewhat of a publicity shot):
Over time, I plan to add further detail to this model, and expand to
other pieces of anatomy; the eventual aim being to provide ways to
visualize some of the structures that are more difficult to understand
in textbooks. Unfortunately, I am yet to find a good (and cheap [:-)]
method of digitizing such models from real specimens, so I have
constructed them by hand so far. I am aware of several good laser
scanners that could perform the task, but unfortunately those are well
outside my extremely limited budget. [:-\]

I hope this provides some help, and I will forward anything that Chris
sends me.

Jonathan Merritt.
PhD Student,
Equine Clinical Research Unit,
Faculty of Veterinary Science,
The University of Melbourne.

Dear Anita

Have you looked at "Limbs and Things" which are a medical training device
manufacturing company. Their web site is http://www.limbsandthings.com/

Liz Tanner

================================================== =======================
Professor K.E. Tanner
Professor of Biomedical Materials
IRC in Biomedical Materials and Department of Materials
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
E1 4NS

phone national 020 7882 5318 international +44-20-7882-5318
fax national 020 8983 1799 international +44-20-8983-1799
mobile phone 07803 207292 international +44-7803-207292
e-mail K.E.Tanner@qmul.ac.uk

Hi Anita,
Try contacting Cornelia Farnum at Cornell. Seems to me she had some
wonderful lab demos for their anatomy students at the vet school. I
assume you know about Pacific research http://www.sawbones.com ?

Amy L. Lerner
Asst. Professor, Biomedical Engineering, 215 Hopeman Building
Box Number 270168, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0168

Phone: 585-275-7847, Fax: 585-256-2509 (Note NEW Area Code!!!)
e-mail: amy.lerner@rochester.edu

Web Pages:

Hello Anita:

I read your post on the biomechanics listserver today (F. 21 June 2002)
and below you can find some information about surgical simulation,
simulators, and body part simulations. I hope this helps your search.

There is a Seattle-based company you should contact: Simulab. They
make models of human parts, but are quite helpful when it comes to
something new or unique (if nothing else they will be a good starting
point). It was started by a endoscopic surgeon (Mika Sinanan, MD,
Ph.D.) at UW and some others to make realistic training parts for a
surgical simulator. Their president is Chris Toly and he can be reached
at: 206-297-1260. Their website is www.simulab.com . Dr. Sinanan runs
the Center for Videoendoscopic surgery (CVES) at UW and is very active
in surgical simulation. The CVES website is
http://depts.washington.edu/cves/ and may provide some possible links also.

You may want to contact Medical Plastics, though I think they only make
human parts also: http://www.medicalplastics.com/ . For bones, contact
another WA-based company, Sawbones/Pacific Research Laboratories:
www.sawbones.com . Finally you may want to contact the Human Interface
Technology (HIT) Laboratory at UW where they work on the hardware and
computer side of simulation and have quite a bit of experience with
surgical simulation. Check out there website:
http://www.hitl.washington.edu/ . Dr. Eric Seibel is the assistant
director and may be able to help you find more infomation --
eseibel@u.washington.edu .

I very recently ran across a review article that relates to surgical
simulation: "Can virtual reality be used to measure and train surgical
skills?," Arnold and Ferrell, _Ergonomics_ 45(5): 362-379, 2002. Very
good review of the theories, or lack thereof, supporting VR in the
surgical theater.

Good luck,

Dan Baker, Ph.D.

Daniel R. Baker, Ph.D.
Kinetic Research & Design -- "Biomedical Systems and Solutions"
13203 39th Ave. NE, Suite 101
Seattle, WA 98125-4615 USA
206.361.8324 (phone) -- 206.417.7873 (fax)
Your email cannot reach me (AOL's problem), so
please reply to my UW account temporarily:
bakerdr@u.washington.edu -- thanks (6/02).


Dear Anita,

We are producing physical copies of anatomical structures from processing CT/MR or other medical images. Such models are build by Rapid Prototyping techniques and are used for pre-op planning or surgical simulation, and could well be used for your applications. While anatomy and geometry is represented very accurately, there is a limitation on replicating texture and mechanical properties. We can only use materials available for Rapid Prototyping. However, there is a quite good choice of materials and depending to your requirements (organ/tissue type) such process may be
suitable. Alternatively, it is possible to develop a prototype model and then replicate this using other manufacturing techniques. I must only mention that such techniques can be expensive, and I am not certain what is the extent of your project.

If you wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,


Panos Diamantopoulos, DPhil
Biomedical Modelling Unit,
School of Engineering and Information Technology,
University of Sussex
Brighton, BN1 9QT, UK
Tel: +44 1273 877320
Fax: +44 1273 877341
Email: P.Diamantopoulos@sussex.ac.uk

Anita Vasavada, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Departments of Biological Systems Engineering and VCAPP
Programs in Bioengineering and Neuroscience
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6120
voice: (509) 335-7533
fax: (509) 335-4650