Page 40 - Campus Technology, January/February 2020
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Interdisciplinary 3D Printing Project
Has Real-World Impact
At Louisiana State University, an undergraduate student used 3D printing and a lot of ingenuity to create the first personalized human model for cancer research.
By David Raths
Most universities have dipped their toes into the 3D printing and makerspace waters, encouraging student innovators to develop prototypes of design ideas. But it is still uncommon for students, especially undergraduates, to get involved in the design of products that will have a significant impact in the real world.
That is why the story of Louisiana State University undergraduate research scholar Meagan Moore stands out and has been recognized with a Campus Technology Impact Award. Working in the lab of Prof. Wayne Newhauser, the Dr. Charles M. Smith Chair of Medical Physics, Moore 3D printed what the lab describes as the first personalized human model for testing radiation therapy. Her effort is an example of using fairly accessible technologies to build and potentially replace something used in the clinic to personalize patient cancer treatments.
The interdisciplinary collaboration required to solve the engineering, design, 3D printing, and medical testing challenges involved in the project were a great learning experience for
Moore. “For me, hearing the word no is just a way to find another way to yes,” she said, “and sometimes, those tend to take you to projects and concepts that you never would have interacted with otherwise. I have a background in art and science, and I am doing a degree in engineering, and this project has allowed me to use every bit of my background.”
Here is the problem Newhauser’s lab set out to solve: In radiation therapy, mannikins called “phantoms” are used as surrogates for human tissue to test radiation exposure, and to figure out the best angle to distribute a dose. However, anthropomorphic phantoms for radiation dosimetry are expensive (around
Category: Education Futurists
Institution: Louisiana State University
Project: Project Phantom
Project lead: Meagan Moore, undergraduate research scholar
Tech lineup: Autodesk, BigRep, Human Solutions, KISSlicer, Rhinoceros, Simplify3D
Photo: Courtesy of Louisiana State University

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