Student from Wrocław prints prostheses for disabled dogs
3D printing processes in the service of animals. A veterinary medicine student from the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences is using modern printers to produce prostheses for disabled dogs. His first patients are Sonia, a 3-year-old which lost a part of its hind leg hit by a car, and 8-year-old Leto, whose front paw was damaged by a train. But more and more people in need for help for their pupils are coming to Maciej Szczepański.
"I'm interested in veterinary orthopedics and I've been thinking for some time now to use 3D print in treatment of animals with amputated limbs. This method is much cheaper than for instance endoprosthesis. This issue is relatively fresh in Poland, barely in its infancy, but for instance in the United States, it's a commonly used alternative method of treatment of disabled animals," said Maciej Szczepański, laureate of the first edition of "Magistrant wdrożeniowy" scholarship at the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences.
A multi-stage process
How prostheses for dogs are made? Maciej Szczepański says the whole process starts with finding a dog which needs help. "Next, I meet with such dog and take an imprint of the stump. Then I make a cast of it, and thanks to the courtesy of my university, I'm able to create a digital image of the cast," the student says. "Next I conceptualise and sketch how the prosthesis should look, and then I begin work with a designer," he adds.
Szczepański admits that already 10 people have come to him since the beginning of September, asking him to help their animals.
As part of the project, carried out at the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Szczepański is making prostheses for two dogs, using casting and digital mapping. One is Sonia, a 3-year-old which lost a part of its hind leg hit by a car, and an 8-year-old Leto, whose front paw was damaged by a train
He wants to help dogs by printing prostheses
"A vet from my hometown of Opoczno told me about the first dog, and a fellow-student about the other. The owners agreed without hesitation. I'm sure I can help their pupils," the student says.
The first prosthesis has been already printed, now we're working to calibrate the harness, and Sonia will be testing it any day now. The other is being prepared.
"I'd like my project to be commonly used, to help in preventing progressive muscle and joints atrophy and improve the life of dogs. I hope that I will be able to help as many animals as possible in the future," Szczepański says.
Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences
The programme supports students whose M.A. theses are characterised by creativity, high scientific potential and innovation. The submitted projects also need to address the challenges of the economy, job market and society.
Students who receive scholarship of 1,500 zlotys per month for six months (with an option of a 6-month extension), closely cooperate during their work with supervisors. Maciej Szczepański's project is supervised by prof. Jakub Nicpoń.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24 Wrocław, PAP, TVN24 Wrocław, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy we Wrocławiu