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Open AccessArticle

A Tangible Educative 3D Printed Atlas of the Rat Brain

1
Centre for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2
Thermodynamics Department, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
3
Institute of Design for Manufacturing and Automated Production, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
4
Instituto de Neurociencias, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas—Universidad Miguel Hernández, 03550 Sant Joan d’Alacant, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Materials 2018, 11(9), 1531; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11091531
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 25 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Issue of the Manufacturing Engineering Society (MES))
In biology and neuroscience courses, brain anatomy is usually explained using Magnetic Resonance (MR) images or histological sections of different orientations. These can show the most important macroscopic areas in an animals’ brain. However, this method is neither dynamic nor intuitive. In this work, an anatomical 3D printed rat brain with educative purposes is presented. Hand manipulation of the structure, facilitated by the scale up of its dimensions, and the ability to dismantle the “brain” into some of its constituent parts, facilitates the understanding of the 3D organization of the nervous system. This is an alternative method for teaching students in general and biologists in particular the rat brain anatomy. The 3D printed rat brain has been developed with eight parts, which correspond to the most important divisions of the brain. Each part has been fitted with interconnections, facilitating assembling and disassembling as required. These solid parts were smoothed out, modified and manufactured through 3D printing techniques with poly(lactic acid) (PLA). This work presents a methodology that could be expanded to almost any field of clinical and pre-clinical research, and moreover it avoids the need for dissecting animals to teach brain anatomy. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain; rapid prototyping; atlas; rat; magnetic resonance imaging; educative model brain; rapid prototyping; atlas; rat; magnetic resonance imaging; educative model
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Quiñones, D.R.; Ferragud-Agulló, J.; Pérez-Feito, R.; García-Manrique, J.A.; Canals, S.; Moratal, D. A Tangible Educative 3D Printed Atlas of the Rat Brain. Materials 2018, 11, 1531.

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