3D-Printed Replica and Porcine Explants for Pre-Clinical Optimization of Endoscopic Tumor Treatment by Magnetic Targeting
Background: Animal models have limitations in cancer research, especially regarding anatomy-specific questions. An example is the exact endoscopic placement of magnetic field traps for the targeting of therapeutic nanoparticles. Three-dimensional-printed human replicas may be used to overcome these pitfalls. Methods: We developed a transparent method to fabricate a patient-specific replica, allowing for a broad scope of application. As an example, we then additively manufactured the relevant organs of a patient with locally advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. We performed experimental design investigations for a magnetic field trap and explored the best fixation methods on an explanted porcine stomach wall. Results: We describe in detail the eight-step development of a 3D replica from CT data. To guide further users in their decisions, a morphologic box was created. Endoscopies were performed on the replica and the resulting magnetic field was investigated. The best fixation method to hold the magnetic field traps stably in place was the fixation of loops at the stomach wall with endoscopic single-use clips. Conclusions: Using only open access software, the developed method may be used for a variety of cancer-related research questions. A detailed description of the workflow allows one to produce a 3D replica for research or training purposes at low costs.